Posts in "books" category

How to stop MSN spam with Pidgin

For those of you who don’t know, Pidgin is an open source Instant Message client which supports MSN, ICQ, the jabber protocol (which means GTalk) etc.

After installing it however, I started getting a lot of MSN spam. You know, IM’s from random people telling me to visit places where I could gamble with my money, or alternatively my health (with cheap pills).

Turns out Pidgin defaults to letting everyone contact you. You can change this in Tools -> Privacy.

So, you don’t want this:

.. but you do want this:

That is, only allowing people on your buddy list to contact you.

Once set, all spam was gone :-)

By the way, Pidgin is a pretty smart name for that app. Being a non-native english speaker I thought Pidgin was referring to the bird Pigeon. Well, turns out this is the definition for Pidgin:

A linguistically simplified, mixed and restricted language used in limited contact situations between people who have no common language.

.. and that’s perfect for Pidgin cause it supports multiple protocols, which means it enables people with no common language (protocol) to talk to eachother. I bet the protocol implementations aren’t 100% either, so that means it’s also a simplified, mixed and restricted language ;-)

In addition to that, they can use a Pigeon as their mascot since it’s pronounced the same! I’m in awe.

37signal's book now free

This just in; 37signals just released their book called “Getting Real” in html format, free to the masses.

Read it free online here

Have been thinking of buying it for a while, but now I can read a few chapters and see what it’s about. If it’s good I’ll probably buy the paperback.

The Art of Understanding Women

I’ve taken a liking to startup books lately, and I’ve just started reading my second one – “The Art of The Start“, by Guy Kawasaki. It doesn’t take many pages before Guy introduces the reader to a brand new concept – when it comes to business; women know best.

Here’s an excerpt from the chapter called ‘Define Your Business Model’:

My final tip is that you ask women – and only women. My theory is that deep in the DNA of men is a “killer” gene. This gene expresses itself by making men want to kill people, animals and plants. To a large degree, society has repressed this gene; however, starting an organization whose purpose is to kill another organization is still socially acceptable. Hence, asking a man about a business model is useless because every business model looks good to someone with the Y chromosome. (…) Women, by contrast, don’t have this killer gene. Thus, they are much better judges of the viability of a business model than men are.

He then argues that men must be dumber since they recieve more ‘Darwin Awards‘ (given to stupid people).

Then he finishes off the chapter with this excersise:

  • Calculate your monthly cost to operate your organization.
  • Calculate the gross profit of each unit of your product.
  • Divde the results of Step 1 by the results of Step 2
  • Ask a few women if they think you have a chance of selling that many units. If they don’t, you don’t have a business model.

Amazing. I never knew it was that simple :)

I don’t know if Mr. Kawazaki is joking, trying to get laid, or both – but I know I do wish WordPress had a Poll plugin so that I could add a poll to this post entitled “Should I read the rest of this book?” :)