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Hey everybody and Happy New Year!  It is so great to be back and diving into 2010 like a toddler at a kiddie pool.

Today’s topic is a little of everything. A pot pourri. A pot luck dinner of a multitude of topics.

It’s Ramblings and Rants.

Download the podcast from iTunes, or play it below:

 

Here’s an outline of today’s topics:

The 4-Hour Workweek

I talked about this book last year in my Book Report post listing my favorite marketing and business books, and to be honest, not much has changed so I will give you my review again below.

But what HAS changed is that he has an updated version of the book, with 100 new pages. Were these amazing new updates? Not really. However, I really wanted to read the book again, so figured the low price of $11 for The 4-Hour Workweek on Amazon.com was worth it.

I truly feel 2010 is the year for me to try and put some of his thoughts into action. I try to temper myself, because these books can get you really fired up but might not be realistic, but it’s something that I’m genuinely interested in. If you agree, I also recommend “Internet Business Mastery” as a podcast and the “Smart Passive Income” blog. We’ll see.

My review from last year:

I first came across Tim Ferriss when he was named The Most Effective Self Promoter of All Time on a Wired survey, beating out Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Jesus.

4-hour-workweek-book

This was especially interesting because I had never ever heard of him. It’s been getting a lot buzz this year, and it’s easy to understand why. He promises to give you the key steps to quitting your job, escaping the 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich.

So is this just another ‘get rich quick and retire’ book that over promises? No.

While it bills itself as a step-by-step guide to “luxury lifestyle design,” here is why you need to read this book. I found that it actually covers several different topics individually, and you are free to pick and choose the ones you want independently. For example:

– Quitting the workforce While this is the main theme, and he encourages working remotely and getting down to just a handful of hours, I’m actually OK with going to the office. The problem many people probably have, is not being at the office until 7 or 8 at night, not checking the Treo or Blackberry at all hours, and actually using up all your allocated vacation days every year.

– Mini-retirements The conventional wisdom is your work your butt off for 45 years and THEN you get to retire. Ferriss argues, what fun is that? Who decided that was the rules? His plan is to take a series of mini-retirements throughout your life.

– Marketing Ferriss shows some great examples of implementing the 80/20 rule. Is it simply rehashing a theory from an Italian economist born in 1848? Yes! And he admits it. But it’s still good to get a refresher on Pareto’s rule every once in awhile.

– Managing E-mail This is something that just about everyone can use help with. He has some great practical advice on when to check email, using out-of-office replies, and managing information overload.

– Virtual assistants Can you outsource all your mundane busy work to someone overseas? Tim says you can and while I haven’t tried it, it’s something I’d love to test.

– Starting an internet business to make passive income This one intrigued me the most, especially the stories about the French Sailor shirt and the Rock Climbing Yoga DVD. He makes it sound easy, but if you’re a smart marketer, internet savvy, have ever done a Google keyword buy, and are up on the latest social media, he gives some very, very compelling examples.

So again, if you’re sick of your job and you want to live in Buenos Aires and get a check for doing nothing every mont h, Tim steers you in the right direction. This could be your bible. But this is also a great read to pick up simple workday efficiency tips like batching your email. The example he gives is that you don’t do your laundry every single day after one of your shirts get dirty. It would be silly. There’s too much startup time to go to the basement, run the washer, add the soap, clean the shirt, take it out, put it in the dryer, etc.

So instead you put it all in a bundle and do it once a week. He argues it’s the same thing for a project you’re working on. If you’re in the middle of a budget spreadsheet and try to multi-task by tabbing over to answer a quick email or pick up the phone, when you go back to the spreadsheet there’s a huge startup time to ramp back up again. I highly recommend it.

The Apple Tablet

apple-tablet

I have to admit, I love the hype.  I confessed that I was a PC user from birth until 2007, and now with an iPhone, a Macbook Pro, and about 4 iPods, I’m probably Apple-fanboy-approved.  In 2007 I followed all the hype leading up to the iPhone’s first launch, and then even MORE closely in 2008 because I knew I was going to buy one.

I really enjoyed the speculation on the Apple tablet in a blog post by John Gruber of Daring Fireball.net. Some of the questions he asks are:

– How do you type on it?
– How do you carry it?
– How  do you watch it? Prop it up on some kind of legs?
– Most importantly… who will want it?  Can it fill the void between the iPhone and a laptop

I can’t wait to find out.

Consumer Electronics Show – Can I get rid of cable TV yet?

In this rant, I talk about how I was “out-Wired” at a meal with some other guys the other day. I was complaining how I couldn’t watch the Patriots when not on TV, and they gave me several option how I could have done it, including using a Slingbox from my parent’s house in Boston, then streaming it to my netbook (which I barely use) hooked into my LCD TV.  Man, that sure sounds like a geek project to tackle for this fall.

Wired posted their quick CES preview this week, and there seem to be lots of TV options.

1) Is Boxee going to take over this year? In that case, I won’t need cable TV. I can get everything online.
2) But wait, maybe I won’t need a TV if I can use a projector built into a camera like the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj (which I predicted in October 2008)
3) But wait a second, now they’re saying I DO need a TV… a NEW TV… a 3D TV

Avatar

james-cameron-avatar

I really enjoyed the movie. Was the story clichéd? Of course.  Was it wildly entertaining to me? Yes.  The key for me? Cameron didn’t overdo it with the 3D. Do other people agree? Hell yeah. It’s made over 1 BILLION DOLLARS.

If I was James Cameron, I would be walking around Hollywood like a peacock. Hey, you know who I am? I’m James Freaking Cameron. My movie just made a BILLION dollars. How you like that?  But I wouldn’t say it like the cliched Dr. Evil with my pinky… I’d be screaming it like a crazy drill instructor hyped up on crack addressing his daddy that never loved him after winning some kind of futuristic worldwide lottery. One. Billion. Dollars.

Fantasy Football

Speaking of a) strutting like a peacock and b) winning money. I won’t bore you with the details (the podcast rant is entertaining though), but lets just say that a league I was in CONSPIRED to make a specific RULE CHANGE to directly thwart my team. It would be like Hollywood telling Cameron that because Titanic did so well, and they didn’t want him to break a record again, he could only show Avatar on weekdays. You know what happened? I STILL freaking won. Again. Yes, that’s THREE titles in a row.

Sexy Thingselizabethkingheadshot1

1) Shoutout to former Hopkinson Report guest Elizabeth King, author of Outsmarting the SAT, for being nominated in Wired’s 2009 Sexiest Geeks contest.

2) The band Pomplamoose is my newest musical obsession. Like a true Wired geek, I am equally mesmerized by singer Nataly Dawn’s sultry voice, piercing eyes, and sweet-as-pie character… as I am with Jack Conte’s musical talent (drums, guitar, piano, mini piano, organ, xylophone, accordion… should I go on?), sound engineering, and incredible video editing.

Check out their entertaining cover songs (Beat It, September, Mister Sandman, Mrs. Robinson) and original music on the Pomplamoose YouTube page.

Warning: Upon viewing this video, you will NOT be able to get it out of your head.

Hopkinson Report User Survey

Thanks everyone for participating in the survey! I covered a lot of the results in the podcast. I’ll try to post the highlights when I get the transcript of this show. Of note:

Male guest of the year: Daniel Odio, Pointabout.com

Female guest of the year: Jana Eggers, Spreadshirt.com

Listener winner of a Hopkinson Report t-shirt: Martin McManus.

Prizes

Lastly, I gave a little inside scoop for the listeners:

1) Wired’s One Wired Wish contest is quick to enter, ends on 2/2, and chance to win a $10,000 shopping spree)

2) Our “Wired Magazine Spine photo contest” ends on 1/15. The key? We have 10 prizes, and as of 1/6, we have less than 25 entries. Odds are good.

Thanks and talk to you soon.

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