What happens to my iTunes music after I die?

What happens to my iTunes music after I die?


What happens to my iTunes music after I die?

It’s been something I’ve been thinking about.  Now that Steve Jobs has left us, it’s come to the top of my mind. For months I’ve been looking on iTunes at the Beatles complete collection.  It is around $100, a $9.99 download does not make be think, but $100 makes me stop and contemplate.

When I die… can I leave my vast iTunes music collection to my children?

My CD’s sure, but what about digital rights?  I’m not sure if anyone is having this conversation.  What about divorce?  Who gets the iTunes?  After reading the lengthly iTunes user agreement, it is unclear.  So in preparation, I changed my official iTunes email login to a family-oriented email.  If I get hit by a train, my family will have control of my music and Apps.  This made me look at copyright lengths.  UK Copyright lengths are 50 years.  What that means is that:

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Copyright June 1967 will be free to copy in June 2016.  Unfortunately, this will be in the UK only.  The US copyright has been extended to 95 years.  How to resolve the US/UK difference?  I’m sure the Beatles copyrighted music and the US and UK, but it is interesting to think about.

This made me think more.  Is this why bands keep releasing “remastered” sound tracks?  A new soundtrack means another 50 years copyright.  That is every band’s right. It is also my right to hold on to orginal CD’s of non-remastered recordings until they pry them out of my cold dead hands.

What it all comes down to is that there will be many more discussions on digitial music and video rights. It is interesting.  I just want to live long enough to learn to play Stairway to Heaven and then use the sound track for a really cool product release…royalty free.

An article on UK copyrights:

Blame Architects for America’s poor recycling habits

Blame Architects for America’s poor recycling habits

According to articles I recently read, only 50% of Americans recycle on a regular basis.  No matter how much education is done, how many pleads from the tree huggers out there. I don’t care if environmentalist start strapping dynamite to themselves, it is not going to change. I have a theory I would like to share.

Blame the architects.

What? Is this some strange vengeance I have on a noble profession?  Do I blame the architect who designed my house for the leaky roof…for the thousands of damage that was done to our wood floors?  No, that was the cheap builder who skimped on ice&snow water shield on the roof.  The architect did a great job.  I do blame the architect for me not wanting to recycle.  Here is why.

Until I have a walking-talking robotic assistant in my home. (I will line up faster than for an iPad II).  I will not be as likely to recycle as much as I should.  Again…why?

It is not easy.  The majority of what could be recycled goes into through the kitchen of the home.  Glass, plastics, paper, food wrappings, etc.  What does your kitchen garbage look like?  Here is mine:

It is tiny. It is not well thought out.  It is too small for a house our size. (2 Adults, 4 children and a 180 pound dog).   It is the same size as houses that are 1/2 or apartments that are 1/4 my house size.   The design is made for throwing everything in 2 bins. Bin #1 put all the recyclables and bin #2 everything else.  The recycle bin includes everything, glass, cardboard, cans, plastic, all put together.  When I was a child in the 1970′s, we had one bin.  No recycling.  Somewhere along the way someone felt warm and fuzzy about themselves and added bin #2 as a recycling bin.  It is not much better than the 1970′s.  It is inadequate.  Whose fault is it?

Blame the architect!

For me to recycle, the current configuration is not optimal.  The “recycle” bin fills up too quick and spill over happens.  Pick up my 1 year old and teach her colors or separate trash?  An extra minute reading with my 7 year old daughter or separate trash before the garbage truck comes on Friday?

The reality is that the typical design of the American home makes us trash separators vs. recyclers.  I have no problem with recycling, but if I have to be trash separator, I probably won’t do it. For high adoption a task needs to be simple.  I learned this by watching sales people use a CRM software system.  Human nature.  If it is harder than it should be, people won’t do it.  Make it simple and you will get high adoption.

The answer to the problem is simple.  Design houses with appropriate space so each major type of trash needs to be thrown out one time.  No trash separation.  Simple.  The effects on the entire industry could cascade.

Don’t the local landfills separate trash?  Maybe on inspection day.  Take a look a what is inside most garbage bags.  Cans, bottles, plastics, newspapers, etc.  Things that should be recycled are not being recycled.  I think that the 50% of Americans recycle article is actually bullshit!  I would like to see how they collected the data.  From personal observation…50% is way too high.

What if architects got with the program?

  • Homes and businesses would be designed for “one-toss” recycling.  No separating it after you throw it out the first time.
  • The size of the recycle area would be associated with the size of the house.  They do this for septic systems… and it is part of the local code.  Why not trash?
  • Garbage services should give you larger recycle containers.  We requested a larger one from our provider…so we could recycle… and they denied it!  The thing we have is too small for our family.
  • If the stuff was already separated, the recycling centers would have an easier time of it.
  • Not every type of garbage would have to be picked up every week.

Let’s so Architects,  make a stand.  Come up with an elegant solution.

Donato Diorio
March 2011

Boosting creativity with dream recall

Boosting creativity with dream recall

Staring at my hands in a dream

If you are close to your dreams you can leverage them to your advantage. My best ideas have come from dreams.  Software, stories, new business models as well as training and webinar ideas.  All from dreams.   Many of my close friends know this.  From talking with them, I know that I am lucky.   I dream every nearly every night.

The exception is when I have a drink, which is fairly rare.  Usually, I can remember one and sometimes two or three dreams each night.   I have 27 years worth of journals.  The mundane mixed with the inspirational and sometimes, prophetic.  Stop there if you think I’m going esoteric.  If you are absolutely focused on a problem and you bring that resolve into your subconscious, your dreams, you can come to conclusions you would never have touched with the waking mind alone.  No burning bush crap.

I do understand that I am in a small minority.  Our society does not promote dream recall.  Have you heard that dream recall is like a muscle?  That is not entirely correct.  It is not like a muscle, but more complex; an athlete.  The ability needs cross training, but it also needs a coach, and resolve.  Coach: That is you. Resolve: also you.  Training: that’s right, you again.

For all those I have talked to over the years and asked me about dreaming.  I am writing this for you.  My dream recall was not something I always had; I trained myself to do it.

When I was 19, enrolled at the University of Miami, the ability to recall my dreams on a regular basis held a great interest for me.  Having already devoured many books on philosophy and religion, my interest in the more esoteric was awakened.   Many of the groups had interesting philosophical swag.  Scientology and Eckankar were two groups I frequented.  The people were really out there and the groups attracted outlier personalities that I enjoyed meeting. While it took a while to realize that both these groups were not what they outwardly projected, I decided not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

It was the time at UM that I joined an Eckankar class on dreaming.  It was clear from being a good observer that Scientology just wanted $$.   At the time, Eckankar was not looking for my cash and they had a nice group of people who I would truly classify as “seekers”.  To be clear, Eckankar is a cult and I’ll blog about it at length in the future.  This is what sparked my initial interest in knowing more about dreams.  The class, the talking about dreams, yes even the chanting. All of it enhanced my dream recall.

With my interest in dreams ignited, I started recalling dreams much more. Fast forward a few years.  The new setting:  New Paltz State University in upstate NY.   If there was Olympic training for dream recall, this is when I did it.

The old X10 Control Unit

Home automation has always been a hobby of mine. My off campus apartment was wired to the computer (I think it was a 486..yikes).  Everything was controlled by plug-in-the-wall devices called X10 units.  It was college days, hard futon next to a wall of books.

X10 Computer Interface

As an experiment, I set the X10′s to wake me up with an alarm clock periodically during the night.  If I recall correctly, I went to sleep around 10pm.

At first, I set them to wake me at 2, 4, and 6am.  It was hit or miss on the dream recall.  I did this for about a week and was walking around real tired; it was effecting my sleep.

Next I used a light next to my bed that would slowly brighten over a period of a few minutes.  At the end of the brightening cycle, the radio sound would go on. With the light waking me in a more gently manner, the recall increased again.  It was clear the radio was too harsh a noise, so I replaced it with environmental sounds like thunderstorms and ocean waves.   Lastly, I played with the intervals and it turned out that 1, 3 and 5am were much better times than 2, 4 and 6am.

Key observations.  I needed to have about 3 solid hours of sleep before performing any interruption of my sleep cycle.  The cycles ended up being longer in the middle of the night and shorter towards the end of the night.  Eating too late would interrupt the cycles (still does to this day).

The time span I played with my sleep cycles spanned a few months.  Eventually I did not need the sound; the light was enough to wake me.  Within a month I had a dream to recall whenever the light woke me.  Along the way I abandoned writing in the middle of the night. It was usually illegible and the medium interrupted the free flow of the thoughts.

For efficiency, I switched to a micro cassette recorded.  This is where it got weird.  When I wrote things down,  the next morning I remembered what I wrote. However, when I started recording my dreams, eyes still shut, the next morning was a wonderland in decoding.  In the first few weeks it took a concerted effort to understand the more cryptic.  One thing I realized is that I favored a different vocabulary in my half-sleep state.   The words I used recording were more poetic compared to my every day choice of words.

Sometimes I would have a “note to self” dream.  For me, these are the most fun.   An old librarian gives me a book that I need to deliver.  Same dream every time, different book, different note to self.  Another common occurrence was a ferry ride; many symbols that each had a specific meaning for me.  Once I had a dictionary of my common themes and symbols I was able to write closer to the heart of the dream when I wrote it down the next day.  I realized that the very act of changing the original words in the dream corrupted the recall of the dream itself.

This was the final bridge for me.  The breaking down of conscious and subconscious thought patterns.  I got to understand my own dream imagery.  Everyone has their own imagery.  No one can tell you about your dreams except you. Sure there are some common symbols, but I would not go so far as to say universal.  The conscious and unconscious parts of my mind play nicely together, it has allowed a greater creativity in my life.

You don’t need to go to the extremes that I did, if you want to recall your dreams.  A simple mental command, with a verbal affirmation before bed should do it.   “I will remember my dreams”.  That is it.

Get your pocket recorder ready.

We are moving more than you think

The orbit takes about 225 million years and the Sun has completed about 21 such orbits during its 4.5 billion year life.

Or as Eric Idle once sung…

Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the “Milky Way”.

Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it’s just three thousand light years wide.
We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go ’round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

I think about this and laugh when people don’t want to travel.  The most traveled person on earth and the least traveled are within .00001% (I made that up) margin of difference.

We are all travelers.



Establishing an up-front-contract with your prospects

Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog about how to sell to me.

Today, I would like to focus on setting expectations for your prospects.  Recently, the Chief Sales Officer and Co-founder of Broadlook showed me an email.  It was from a prospective customer that was bemoaning the fact that he would have to talk to a sales rep, before we started him on a trial of our software.  The bottom line, to him, was that it was a waste of time.  The message was basically, “send me a download link, I’ll check it out and call you if I like it, but don’t call me.”

We had to disappoint him.

Good sales is making sure that you are putting the right tool in the hands of the right person.  Broadlook has 8 different applications.  Each has a different problem that it solves.

In this particular case, the prospect wanted a trial of Diver, our tool for automating the review and extraction of results from search engines.   Basically, if someone does not know how to use Google, we will politely suggest to them that Diver is not the tool for them.  Literally about 1/2 the time that people request a Diver demo, once we talk to them we determine together that they really need our Profiler tool.  That is good selling.

I understand being busy.  However, demanding-because-I-say-so is not a reason for any company to cave in to a prospects demands, especially when your experience shows you that sidestepping a good sales process hurts all parties involved.

What is really crazy is that this is not the first time this has happened.  In fact, about 2 months ago, we looked at this problem and put, right on our Diver registration page, an up-front-contract of what to expect in the process of evaluating Broadlook’s software.

Here it is.

Broadlook guarantee: You want to try our software and you want it right away. We’re going to give it to you.

Here is what to expect:

  1. We ask for a valid email address and phone number. That’s fair.
  2. We will politely contact you and see if you have any questions.
  3. We will show you how to use the software and then get you a 14 day trial.
  4. One week into your trial, we will touch base and see how it is going.
  5. During your trial we may send you emails to trainings, case studies and other information to support your success.
  6. You can always call us and talk to a live person.
  7. We want you to have the absolute best experience possible with our software and we will show you how to use it.
  8. The Broadlook staff will always be courteous and helpful
  9. We want you to be successful.


Even though we’ve put together this clear set of expectations, people still register with phony emails and phone numbers.  It is really funny when they realize that they are not going to get software, so then they register again with real name, phone and email.   Why is it funny?  Because we track IP address of registrations; it is a very standard practice.  So when the Broadlook sales rep gets a lead in our CRM, it will have the phony registrations, right next to the final registration with real credentials.   Many of these turn into sales, so we are still going to be polite and not refer to them as the original name they put in.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Bill Gates          555-555-1212    – Tells us you are not very creative
Genghis Kahn  123-456-7890    – We will drop a mention of ancient warfare during the demo
Screw You         666-666-6666 –  Anarchist,  probably won’t be worth the time
Donato Diorio  414-XXX-XXX   – Just me testing our registration system to keep my reps on thier toes

Basically, our terms are non-negotiable.  Yes, I wrote them myself and stand by them.

So why do people put in phony email and phone numbers?  It seems like a real waste of time.  I believe in saving time on all sides, so we created the Broadlook guarantee, which is essentially an up front contract on what to expect when working with Broadlook.  Once we created this guarantee, the phony registrations dropped in number, but did not go away.

Lastly, will someone, please, tell the people at eGrabber to stop registering to get copies of our software.

Why 99% of Recruiter-Recruiter job sharing fails (and is a royal pain in the @ss)

I blog when I am inspired and I blog when I am mad

Today I am mad… and I figured I would give an education to those people who just don’t get it.  Listen up oh ye job posting spammers.

Here is the problem:   10-15 years ago, someone profited from sending mass emails to every contact they had an email for.  What did they send?  A job posting or a candidate.

This was not a common thing, “back in the day”.  So it worked, and a handful of people made a bunch of placements due to an enhanced network reach and the wonders of email.

Please be a student of history here.  Follow this logic

Things change.  New technology usage of any type tends to be simple and adopted by the few.  Next, the technology gets wider adoption and it gets more specialized, due to changing needs.  So sending 1000 people your candidate or job posting (henceforth “blasting”) worked 10 years ago, but today it adds to noise and has reduced impact.

Today, I got “twitter spammed”.  Someone I added to my network, posted a bunch of job postings to their account.  I was following them so the entire first page on my iPhone was filled with their postings.

I am no-longer following him.  In fact, I removed just about everyone I was following, and will only adding people that don’t do the “pizza post”.  What is a pizza post?  It is when someone has nothing better to do than tell every detail of their life.  Even if they have great thoughts sometimes, I refuse to follow anyone who used the medium for the drab and uninteresting… give me ideas and make me think!

Back to job order sharing and candidate blasting.  The problem is that if you do this despicable act, you are part of the problem, creating noise, creating spam,  LinkedIN spam, twitterSpam, etc.

Here is how to do blasting right.

  1. Build a solid network of OPTS-IN that want to accept candidates or open Job Orders.
  2. Build a strong network of people in your field, you will have better luck sending to a targeted group of 25 than a mass spam of 1000.
  3. DO NOT assume that because someone is connected to you on a social network (ie LinkedIN) that they want to get blasts from you.  THIS IS NOT OK.
  4. If you want to use Twitter, create a separate account for blasting.
  5. Use a network that is highly specialized for blasting.  Don’t use a medium like LinkedIN unless you are in a group specifically for sharing of Jobs and Candidates.
  6. Actually TALK to people that are in your network.  If you are to do business with them, adding that human element sooner rather than later will help make you a better partner.
  7. If you are one of the people that gets a blast and did not opt-in.  Remove them from your social network

There is so much possibility in candidate and job order splits, if done right.

For vendors creating new offerings in this space (taking advantage of existing social networks)

  1. Think your model through so you don’t add more noise for all of us
  2. Understand that people are best served if they can separate the blasting from their social network personas
  3. Give your users the tools to be targeted.
  4. Above all, make sure your venue has some sort of opt-in

A few months ago, I suggested to Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIN to create a “flag” in LinkedIN that told you when a message was mass-mailed.  This should be very simple for them to implement.  If someone sends THE SAME message out to over 50 people on LinkedIN, the “mass-mailed”  flag is set.   This would give LinkedIN users the ability to immediately (1) delete the offending email and (2) remove that person from your network

Reid replied that they were looking at such an option already.  Sure.   I’m still getting spam Reid.  Spam is good for LinkedIN, I would be surprised and impressed if they added the feature.

So here is an idea for someone to build a useful service:

-Create a system that you can forward a linkedIN (or any social network) spam message to
-Pick some reasonable threshold.  If any one person is reported over that threshold they go on a “block list”
-Create a LinkedIN application that automatically deletes those messages

SocialSpam.com domain is available;)

I will give a $10,000 coupon/bounty, good for any Broadlook software, to anyone who builds this application.

I really hate spam.