Thursday, December 27, 2001

It's been really slow... no news over Christmas.

Except on the Enron watch. They just tried to buy some favor from the Democrats by tossing them $100 grand right before going under. A nice touch, but before that, they gave $5.8 million to the Republicans. If I were one of the Democrats, I'd be, like, all, "screw you. Where's the other $5.7 million?" Bastards... like KPMG. In a very cool move, the Democrats are trying to find a way to give that money to laid off Enron employees.

In further proof that there's nothing on TV, a burning log won ratings in New York. This is real. I heard about it on TV before I read this.

Oh, and if you hadn't guessed... Sprint PCS still sucks... in Seattle, New York and Los Angeles.

Hey, Merry Christmas everyone! My wife gave me this cool pen that has a light on it that blinks whenever my cell phone rings. It's from Sharper Image. It doesn't work as well as advertised. Don't get one. Get a Nokia and go to the mall and get those guys at the kiosk to put lights in your phone instead. I have a Motorola, piece of junk can't even do custom ring tones. But at least the reception is good.

Thursday, December 20, 2001

No one has yet stepped forward to adopt the cat. Please?

Recording Companies suck... Pressplay goes live - Pressplay, one of the record company's Napster-replacements have gone live. It costs a lot if you want to actually burn any songs onto CD. But it beats some versions that you can only listen to on your computer... In fact, some versions will corrupt all your downloads if you stop being a paying subscriber. And still another that limits the number you can have downloaded at any time... Universal releases copy-protected disc - Don't even think of trying to copy tracks off the album for the movie The Fast and the Furious... that's right, you can only listen to it on CD players and Windows computers. (They've put the songs on the disc twice... once in the standard CD format and once in a special format only recognized by a special player also found on the disc. Apparently doesn't work with all versions of Windows.

Speaking of Windows, WinXP sales trail Win98. Why is this news? The economy isn't as great, and most people's current computers are really really powerful. Many don't feel the need for a faster computer. On the other hand, Dell will be getting an order from us right after Christmas. Woo hoo speed.

Hey, guess what? SprintPCS sucks in San Diego. (Ok, disclaimer, I bought stock in Verizon yesterday.) Speaking of Verizon, the wireless division just bought another company to bolster their national coverage footprint.

Speaking of sucking, and of stocks I own, Microsoft (which doesn't suck) is thinking of joining AOL's (which does suck) Liberty alliance. When all is said and done, this is great. It can only mean more convenience and a more useful product for consumers.

Still on the topic of stocks I own, Comcast gets AT&T's cable and broadband system, sort of... a new company will be formed, AT&T Comcast Broadband or something like that. I think this is a great move, enough to give me the confidence to buy a little bit of AT&T and Comcast yesterday.

Let's talk Wireless... here's a great article explaining the basics of wireless. Is that a nipple? Or a beauty mark? Or perhaps a close-up on her nose? You'll soon be able to get porn on your Palm (ha!) or cell phone courtesy of Playboy. How bad off do you have to be to find this appealing and worth the money? And speaking of Playboy, NBC is going to have a Playmate Fear Factor two-parter. The first part will air during the half-time show of the superbowl and the second half will air right after the superbowl, opposite Malcolm in the Middle. Bastards!

And speaking of NBC, here's an interesting article on their policies for accepting hard liquor ads. Pretty sound, if you ask me. But I find it funny that it's actually news, since local stations have been allowed for some time to accept the very same advertisers. And Ad Critic is dead. How sad.

Remember the original crude computer animation from the old days? You had little blocks to work with and a single color. Well, those days are here again. Only you're working with an office building. That's right, if you're cool enough, you can create designs that show up on a building. Computer controlled lighting in each office turn the lights on and off to show the pictures. How cool is that?

And from my friend Kevin, here's a bit of weirdness... this place has been archiving the internet for years. Type in a URL and it will show you what it looked like years ago.

This just in... "We're racist and we're not in favor of making airline travel safer!" — The Airline Industry.

Speaking of flying, how about flying cars? Basically, this guy is proposing a rapid transit system that takes you where you want to go, while you sit in your car. The best of both worlds. Fast, safe, convenient, environmentally friendly. In Europe, they've got a similar system for parking, allows them to park a lot more cars in a smaller area by putting them on moving platforms... and they're thinking of putting bigger batteries in cars... would make things a little more dangerous for mechanics, but would improve fuel economy and help the environment.

And a few last random ones...
Chip implants, anyone?... Housing starts up... Spinning toy tops, now available... only $50!!!

Monday, December 17, 2001

Tinsel the cat meows too much. Otherwise, she seems to be improving. Does someone want to adopt her?

Despite the anthrax scares, people are still sending cards the old fashioned way. Which is good. Because we sent out real cards. And if you send us an e-card, you don't get a real card next year. e-cards are for "Happy January 12" or "Happy Thursday" or "Hi, felt like bugging you with this funny card day", not for Christmas.

And Vivendi is buying USA Networks. Not sure what exactly this all means yet, but it combines some big names and puts the USA Networks guy Barry Diller (reportedly a hard man, but a really smart guy) in charge of the new operation.

The State Department has created a 9/11 pictorial. It's accused of playing on people's emotions and basically creating propaganda, but I say, go for it. I guess there's no sign of Osama Bin Laden yet. I wouldn't be surprised if he's somewhere in the Bahamas laughing as we trash Afghanistan.

This is an interesting story on other ISPs being connected through AOL Time Warner's cable system. The only reason this is happening is because it was one of the very few things required by the wussies at the FTC in approving the merger of the two companies. What I don't understand is why it was a big deal to get connectivity so that anyone can use the cable lines to connect to their ISP, but yet there's still a monopoly by AOL Time Warner, or AT&T or Viacom or whoever has your local cable. You can chose your local phone company, you can chose your power company. But you're still stuck with a single cable company, or going with a satellite system. And even there you'll soon only have a single choice. The regulators in this country are getting paid to do jack.

Yahoo!'s introduced something called "Buzz" which you can subscribe to. Basically they're saying that they can
predict trends, based on what people are searching for. Interesting idea. This is something I'll watch.

And I gotta say a big thank you to everyone who's shopped online. The first week in December, purchases online were 91% higher than the week prior. Let's get those presents ordered and shipped. Forget the mall. Now if we could only get our apartment leasing agent to stop taking lunch breaks when the UPS guy is about to show up, so we could actually get our packages.

And, like predicted, Ford is laying off workers and seeking cash, $10 billion dollar's worth. They've gotten hit and I take this as a sign that economic recovery isn't right around the corner like they keep predicting.

What if you work in a really large tower? What do you do differently? How do you cope? Well, you position the new interviewees so they don't face windows so they can't see planes, among other things. An interesting article on the Sears Tower.

And lastly, Sprint PCS sucks in Detroit/Grand Rapids.

Friday, December 14, 2001

Oops, apparently I forgot the link in my last post. Well that was dumb. I don't still have it, but doesn't look like too many people are watching my blog right now. You know what they need? An "identify me when this page changes" thing. I'm sure that exists somewhere. Suggestions? Please email me!

The other night my wife and I were out walking. We walked past a street and saw lights on a house part-way down. So we decided to walk down the street so we could see the Christmas lights. My wife saw a cat sitting on a driveway and we called to it and it ran right over meowing. We petted it and realized it was literally nothing but skin and bones. Everytime a car drove by, it would run towards the car. We think it was dumped. I took it to the vet yesterday and they said it was probably about 10 years old and it had a heart murmur. They also thought it might have a thyroid problem, where its metabolism is so sped up that no matter how much it ate it would continue to lose weight until it died. (It's only 5-3/4 pounds.) Reminds me of how koala's die... their teeth get worn down so they can't chew up the leaves and if they can't chew up the leaves they can't digest them so by the end of their lives they're eating leaves non-stop but lose strength and die. Anyhow, we could have tests done or just watch it for a few weeks and see if it gained weight. We did, however, have it tested for FL and FIV since we already have cats. We named the cat Tinsel and we'll have to find a home for it pretty soon, but right now we're waiting on the tests. It's also smelly. I cut off a lot of its hair with scissors yesterday and have been trying to get parts of it washed but I haven't tried too hard because it has front claws. Say a prayer for Tinsel.

So you know how you can turn your computer into part of a giant network searching for alien life? Or a cure for cancer? The one I like is Hyperbee. It's not yet live, but it will be a distributed search engine spider. Which could just possibly create the best picture of the entire web yet. I can't wait until it launches.

So AOL is now telling the government that it still can't figure out how to get its Instant Messaging software to work with competitor's programs, like MSN Messenger, Odigo or Yahoo! Messenger. I have an easy solution for AOL. STOP SCREWING WITH IT. A year ago MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger and Odigo could all interface with it and AOL made moves to block it. I don't know why Trillian still works, but that's pretty cool.

Maybe even cooler than tablets... flexible screens. You can roll it up. Pretty neat, that's all.

What? SprintPCS sucks? No kidding.

So Enron pays its top executives hundreds of thousands of dollars to stay with the company and see it through the bankruptcy proceedings, while shafting lots of other employees. And now Congress wants them to testify. Their response? Nah, we don't think we'll testify. I say drag them in by the elastic on their underwear. (The first link is from Slate and also talks about Polaroid, but still pretty interesting.)

The economy's not done being miserable. I know I reported recently about how GM is screwing Ford by keeping up the 0% offer. Well, apparently they're about to collectively further screw the economy as well. As soon as they stop doing 0% deals, they're going to stop advertising. And that won't be pretty. Not to mention that car sales have been propping up the stats to date.

Speaking of cars, Toyota's about to launch a third brand and they're thinking of heavily relying on the internet to get the word out. They say they're targetting the younger crowd. I thought Toyota's (like that crappy Echo) were for 16 year olds who didn't know anything about vehicle style. So who are they targetting with these new cars? Kids who can sign on each week and earn pennies towards the day that they're old enough to start driving?

Kids are using health websites. A lot. I guess it beats "Yeah? Well that's not what my cousin's best friend said. They almost died!" In fact, more power to them. Using the internet to find out if there are any side-effects to all that porn they're viewing.

And Yahoo!'s going to try to buy HotJobs. Which rules because was trying to buy HotJobs and I'm tired of big companies swallowing up other companies on the internet and no one at the DOJ saying "Hey... wait a minute." Like, Rent.Net and (all now). I know Yahoo! buys everything and ruins it (like eGroups), but it would still mean two large players instead of just one large player. Because what the heck does a monster have to do with jobs? Monsters are supposed to be scary (or perhaps just collect screams for their power company) and finding a new job should be promoted with calmness and encouragement, not with monsters waiting to jump out and scare you. Especially stupidly drawn monsters. Disney should sue

I had no idea how huge gaming is. Kind of cool... apparently video games now take about $10 million to produce.

Microsoft has entered into a deal with Predictive to learn more about viewer's habits. Basically, without knowing anything about who you are, they would find out more about what you liked to watch. Ultimately it would lead to commercials more tailored to things you were interested in. It would also lead to onscreen guides that were most likely to show you the types of things you'd like to watch. As long as it was smart enough to know when my wife was using it to show E! and Animal Planet and when I was watching to show HGTV, TLC and Discovery Channel, that would be very cool. Some people say there is privacy issues, but this technology is already being used on the internet. They don't know who you are, they just know what you like and strive to give you more of it. Heck, I'd even be willing to give them more information in order to get even more customized results. Don't show me beer commercials or commercials for United, Sprint PCS or AOHELL.

And Israel has cut off ties with Arafat. I just want to go over to Israel and slap every single Israeli and Palestine right across the face and say "Knock it the hell off!" I'd give Israel 30 days to give back the land they snagged however long ago it was and then I'd claim some of the land for the United States, some from what I'd give to Palestine and some from Israel. And I'd destroy all of their airports and build one big international airport on that land I'd claimed for the United States. I'd make it very commercial friendly so that companies would locate around it giving jobs to Palestines and Israelis. I'm tired of their stupid fighting. And I've been tired of it since before it spilled over into our country (sort of). The word is today that Osama is most likely surrounded and soon to be captured. It's just too bad there's really nothing we can do to him. I think we should put him into a small windowless cell adjacent to a prayer room. People of all faiths would fill the room 24 hours a day praying for him aloud. A translator would make sure he could understand what they were saying.

Monday, December 10, 2001

Just a quick one while I wait for Airborne Express...

Sent to me from a friend, the last paragraph is somewhat funny due to the omission of a single word. TNT lays people (off).

Thursday, December 06, 2001

Let me just start by saying the people at KPMG are a bunch of buttmunches. A bunch of their people were hired to help with a project I worked at that was supposed to be the next greatest thing on the internet. Now it's just another joke that comes right after the phrase "failures like pathfinder and". Anyhow, they're annoyed when people link to their site without permission. Buttmunches.

American Greetings... the SprintPCS of greeting card companies... the AOL of greeting card companies... the KPMG's of greeting card companies... they're now charging you to send e-greetings. And they're buying their competition, like Blue Mountain Arts. Buttmunches. There will always be others offering free e-greetings, but for them to charge is just lame.

Speaking of e-cards, the Postal Service is predicting no drop in mailing this season compared to past seasons. Good for them. I love their commercials, hate standing in line at their branches.

Speaking of mail, here's a company that uses automated systems to open your mail, scan it and email it to you as a PDF. I think this rules. I would do it, if it were affordable.

WebRing is once again independent. But will it survive? I thought this was a pretty cool story on Salon.

Gerald Levin is leaving AOL Time Warner. I'm going to die of not surprise. Next, I predict that the name "Time Warner" will be mentioned less and less often until it's just "AOL". I could be wrong, but I might not be.

Should DirecTV and EchoStar be allowed to merge? Hell no! I wish GM weren't selling Hughes because I don't want an inferior company (EchoStar) to own a better company (DirecTV). Buttmunches.

This is funny... put your name on a stadium, go out of business. Southwest Airlines rules.

I predicted this... Microsoft has offered to back two different bids for AT&T's broadband system, to keep it out of AOL's hands.

Cool stuff... aka my wish list....

Have fun.

Monday, December 03, 2001

IT's finally been announced. Yes, IT. The thing that was a secret to the point that it got annoying.

Well, IT's not annoying anymore and I really want one.

I'm not a big fan of Macy's and the only time I go to Bloomingdales is when you have one of those annoying malls that force you to go through a department store maze on the way to the food court. Well, apparently even fewer people are going to, they just shut it down. And they fired some people from and are going to make it smaller. Bloomingdales and Macys are owned by the same company. Isn't that like a monopoly on overpriced stuff and stores with snooty salespeople?

In what I think is pretty cool news, people are finally using their debit cards more than their credit cards.

This isn't really news, but it's worth mentioning, for those of you who set your calendars by it... Microsoft announces a re-org. Big shock. I guess that's the only way to keep a big kettle of mud moving, stir it regularly. Yes, I'm a stockholder, but the company is big and tries to be nimble. I have high hopes for the XBox, but I dunno... some of the commercials have been cool, but some have been lame.

So if you're part of the majority of cable modem users, you might just be wondering when your connection is going to go down. Yes, Excite@Home's going down, and with less grace than the Titanic. I have Earthlink DSL. It doesn't work half the time and it's actually Covad, but at least when they went bankrupt, they somehow kept us online.

This is kinda cool... they've invented a jumpstarter for cell phones and PDA's. If you have a dead battery, you just plug this thing in and start it. Oxygen and zinc react and charge your phone in no time flat. Pretty slick. Expensive, but handy when power isn't.

It was hard enough actually selling cars online, and now MSN and Carpoint think there's a market for pre-ordering Volvo's. I priced and spec'd my car online with Carpoint, but I still ordered it from the dealer. And even then it took them a month to build (two or three weeks quicker than promised). And I'm told that most people don't even have the patience that I had to wait.

Where are you going to be February 3rd.? I know it's late in the year, but yes, this is Superbowl Sunday. Apparently lots of big advertisers are passing on Superbowl ads this year in favor of the cheaper Olympic Games ads. Me, I watch the Superbowl. I don't watch the games. And I watch for the commercials.

This isn't exactly new, but I guess it's finally happening... Verified by Visa... you set up a password for online stores, another level of security. Pretty cool. My American Express card lets me set up something even cooler. I tell it a dollar amount, it generates a one-time use credit card number for me. I use that at the site to shop and the site never knows my real credit card number. Because even if Visa has a password, someone could hack the database and use the card somewhere that didn't require a password. Whereas the semi-fake Amex number wouldn't work anywhere.

And lastly, something slightly cool... Turn your cell-phone into a remote control for a soda machine. Almost. Actually, you go to a website and you deposit money into an account. Then when you're out and about, if you're thirsty and find one of these enabled machines, you dial it up and enter a code and out comes the soft drink. Although some other quicker technologies also exist, like the radio wands that Mobil uses for FastPass and other similar devices. But it's a step towards not having to carry cash, and great for kids, not having to carry credit cards, either.

And those bastards at Disney are adding outtakes to Monsters, Inc., which I've already seen twice in the theaters. I guess I'll have to wait for the third or fourth DVD release to get all that bonus stuff.

Friday, November 30, 2001

Wow, I haven't posted in awhile.

Guess that's what happens when is so slow that I can't wait for it.

Anyhow, I saved the headlines I found interesting. Lucky you.

Credit Suisse First Boston was sneakily trying to make themselves money. Apparently they would give people pre-IPO if they would turn around and reinvest those profits immediately into other companies, through CSFB, at really expensive commissions. Whereas I'd pay Datek $9.99, they'd be paying $80,000. They were buying larger amounts of stock (Datek might charge more for that much stock), but they were charging a lot more.

Ford and Toyota are possibly going to work together on hybrid technology. I think this is smart. Everyone has to come up with it, but the R&D is really expensive. Especially with gas prices as low as they are (I paid $1.11 yesterday!), there's no immediate reason for them to build. But California's still saying that they expect zero-emissions at some point. I think that's as likely as HDTV or 911-triangulating cell phones, but eventually... the article also notes that Toyota might soon surpass Chrysler to become America's #3 automaker. Wow!

George Harrison died last night. He was pretty much before my time, but everyone's talking about it, so I suppose I would be remiss to leave it out.

I've always said it was dumb to use non-bank ATM's. And even then, only your own bank's ATM's. I never understood using public ATM's. They didn't seem as safe and several different banks lined up to rape you when it came to the fees involved in just getting your money. Which is why I've always advocated banking with a super-bank like Smells Fargo (my favorite), or Spank of America or Washington Screwuall (the worst bank in the world!) because they have ATMs everywhere. Well, turns out the Russian mob was operating a company that placed ATMs in delis and other convenience stores in New York. But the ATMs were all rigged. The mobsters were later able to get all the credit card numbers and PIN numbers out of the machines, print their own cards and make all kinds of withdrawals. They got caught, but it's a funny and clever idea. And even if some people go to jail, I doubt they recover all the money. So, in summary, I like the mob, using non-bank ATMs is dumb.

I read an interesting article. A poorly written article. An article that mostly read like a second grade book review. Where every paragraph starts the same. But in the parts where the book's content is discussed, it's kind of interesting. About how the music industry blew it. Because we all know the music industry blows.

People are already ripping apart their XBoxes. Which to me is cool. If it's going to become the centerpiece of a new entertainment system, eventually having a digital video recorder and stuff like that built in, why not figure out how to trick it out like you can a computer? People are already theorizing about how to add more memory and hard drive capacity, and finding that simple things like replacing some wiring make it run faster. Not to mention they're already building software to allow them to play multi-player games over the internet. I thought XBox was supposed to offer this, but...? Whatever. Rip the Xbox and make it better.

And a new study says that internet users watch less TV. They say that internet usage comes at a cost to television. I actually think that people without the internet are more easily entertained with the crap that people are putting out as television. I watch less TV. Because there's less worth watching and I feel guilty about how much I do watch. And even more than that, I record a lot of what I watch, and then watch it without commercials. Because commercials are lame.

Speaking of crap, ABC canceled Thieves. Sorry, uncle Jesse. Of course, I never watched the show, but isn't that half the battle, making it seem interesting enough to check out? How come Full House and Dukes of Hazard both had an uncle jesse? Were they trying to make Full House cooler?

And AOL can't weasel its way out of a lawsuit because it was automatically dialing in on long distance numbers without informing users. Who were getting giant phone bills. I thought this was what unscrupulous pornographers did. You probably got more bang for your buck from the porno people.

Weird stuff going on in Alaska, they're boiling the ionisphere in order to find underground structures on the other side of the planet.

And one last cool one... unmanned spy planes. Neat.

Happy Thanksgiving, belated.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Oh yeah... since you're asking... manifesto destiny was not a typo.
Hello. My big thing today is copycats. I think being a copycat is dumb.

Did you know that when you file for bankruptcy you can get rid of stuff that's costing you money? And if you're an airline, you can get your employees and unions to give up their contracts and raises and work for less? I think it's kind of lame, but they're predicting that within 6 months one or more airline will have filed for bankruptcy. And because it gives them better terms within which to work, that all the other lemmings will follow suit.

Speaking of stupid lemmings, GM just announced that it's going to extend its 0% interest into next year. This is dumb because last month car buying jumped 24%. Eventually everyone who wants a new car will have one. And then the companies will be in a world of hurt. But in a way, this is what GM is counting on. They're hoping that they can seriously hurt Ford and their other competitors because their other competitors can't afford to do the 0% financing as long as GM can. (Or they'll get their competitors to agree to it only to back out, like Amazon did, effectively screwing Barnes and Noble on free shipping. Ha!) Anyhow, if you can't afford to sell cars with 0% interest, don't do it. Just that simple. People will still buy your cars if they're cooler looking than the ones from GM. On the other hand, GM got Bob Lutz from Chrysler, so expect some really cool stuff from GM in the next few years because Bob Lutz is a genius.

This is weird but cool... we've often talked about why they keep old diseases around. The kind that could cripple the planet, but that we've figured out how to tame. Well, it turns out that if you mess around with small pox and modify it, you get a cure for cervical cancer. How cool is that?

I think the European Union is really stupid. Really, really stupid. Or at least anticompetitive. And stupid Levi Strauss are big whiny crybabies who would perform the political equivalent of a lapdance on the collective fat cats in the EU for favorable treatment. What am I talking about? A supermarket chain(?) in Europe was annoyed at how much it cost to buy Levis to sell in their stores. So they started buying the jeans from the United States and shipping them there. Great, capitalism at work. Well, Levi's cries foul and sues. Now the stores are not allowed to buy their jeans from anywhere else. I think that's just incredibly lame. Lame lame lame lame!

Safeweb shut down today or recently. A moment of silence, please. Ok, that's enough. As cool as it was, it was sponsored by the CIA and did include advertising, so it couldn't have been completely "da bomb." Who knows what the CIA gleaned from us in exchange for believed secrecy while surfing?

George Will had a good piece in Newsweek about how despite the terrorist attacks, things are doing quite nicely, thankyouverymuch. Separate yet interesting fact... the number of people killed in traffic accidents between September 12 and November 12 was more than the number of people killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

And more great news... no one's going to seriously think about hiring until March or April. The stock market has been up anyhow, but a lot of that might be tied back to the cheap gas or the 7.1% jump in spending in October, much of that related to car sales. Which means we're probably not out of the woods yet.

I read this great article the other day that I can't find now. But it talks about how cheap gas is bad. They say that people will travel more even if they can't afford it, they say that it means less money for a region of the world (the middle east) already rife with struggle because they have nothing but sand and the gasoline they can sell, it means less incentive to conserve or to do research into future conservation and more people doing more uneccesary driving creating more polution. I really wish I could find that article because there was more stuff. On the other hand, I'm driving several hundred miles this weekend, so I'm thankful for the cheaper gas.

So, this is from yesterday... Blogger wasn't allowing publishing.

So, what's your Viking name?

Here's mine... predictable to say the least.... Jón Stronghorse
Your Viking Personality: You're a fearsome Viking, but you aren't completely uncivilized. The other Vikings make fun of you for that. You have a thirst for battle, and tend to strike first and think later. You might be able to hold your own on the battlefield, but you're no "berserker".

A long sea voyage aboard a Viking longboat would be difficult for you, but you might be able to manage it. Other Vikings consider you "one of the guys".

People who've known you for a while don't always trust your word. You sometimes come off as a bit of a snob. Vikings are not snobbish people -- they either like you, or they kill you. Try to be more like a Viking.

Philips is coming out with a stereo that has effortless internet access for tuning into internet radio, far radio stations and playing MP3's off a near-by computer. My first impression... yeah right... My second impression... yawn! My third impression... it'll be great, it will develop a real following. Then they will cancel the project. (I love my Philips Nino.)

Want a free video screen and a 100 gig hard drive? You'll be able to steal one from a bus stop near you soon, if someone else hasn't smashed the screen. I mean, I know everyone is trying to do their part to realize the vision of Blade Runner and The Fifth Element with non-stop advertising everywhere. (There was advertising on that little piece of cardboard under the Reeses Peanut Butter cups the other day.) But how dumb an idea is this? At least in LA, where they actually have bus stops, if they can't detach the video device quickly enough, they'll just load the entire booth into their truck to disassemble later in private.

Only people that want to charge for content are still reporting this as news: people don't want to pay for content online. DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH. Sheesh. This is so dumb. Especially when the survey was made up of 1,300 people. I'm sorry, but that's incredibly lazy. Almost as bad as the Neilsens.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Hello... haven't really had anything of interest to post in a few days, so I haven't posted. Well, the big news is that I've given up Buffy and Angel. At one time I enjoyed these shows, but I'm not thrilled with the direction these shows have taken. Unfortunately, I've also had less opportunity to be in contact with my Buffy friends and I haven't even bothered to check out the UPN website. Ok, I looked at it once, out of curiosity, but it made me sad to look at. Bright red really didn't seem appropriate.

Life seems to be calmly progressing forward. It's uneventful and at moments I have fleeting panic and worry about the rut I seem to be in. I'm making money, but I'm not working full time. I'm paying bills, but I'm borrowing a little at a time from savings. My apartment is really nice, I like the work I'm doing, but it feels like much of the same... get up, go to work. Come home, play on the computer, watch TV. Maybe take a walk or work out. Do it all over again. But the weather is nice and I have great music to listen to in the car. Is something missing? Or do I just have too much free time? I mean, life is really great. Nothing to complain about. But nothing major is happening. Maybe it's that much of my current job is maintenance work on the computers while I wait for this big upgrade and move that will unleash the ability to do to much more, to learn much more and to make some new and impactful statements for all to see?

So, here's a question... how do I change the color of my archive link? Is this in my style-guide, or...? Any super bloggers out there who can help me? I'd really appreciate it.

And to anyone else reading my work, what do you think? Is the new site too plain? Too boring? Too ugly?

A while back, I read stories about the phone companies whining. Seems that the phone system was designed for people to make calls, talk to people for awhile and then get off. But the second phone lines people were ordering were for computers which they'd leave dialed in for hours. The nerve of the customers, to use the product they paid for. Sheesh. Well, now the phone companies are whining again. People are cancelling second lines in record numbers. Some because of the economy and some because they're getting high-speed DSL lines. But don't the phone companies have a majority of the DSL subscribers? Seems like they're just happiest when they're whining.

Also, more and more people are moving towards electronic payments (credit cards, etc.) There's nothing worse than being in line at the grocery store behind someone who wants to write a check.

You'd think this was a story on how technology can help stores become more efficient and make more sales. I think it instead speaks to the clueless of people who work at The Gap. Apparently they're tagging all the jeans with little radio transmitters to help them find them quicker in the store.

Have you ever wished you could type on your desk without a keyboard? No? Me neither. Well, I do think it would be cool if the keyboard could be projected into the air, along with the screen, so I could lay in bed and use the computer, but I assume that'll take years. In the meantime, this company has figured out a way for you to use any surface as a keyboard with little gloves you slip on to your fingers. It sounds interesting, but how the heck do you know where the keys are? Is there a little mat you lay out on the desk or something?

Surprise, surprise... new survey finds most unwilling to pay for content on the internet. DUH! DUH DUH DUH DUH!

And AOL's about to have a few more haters... Rumor is, they're about to fire some more people.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Ok, three trends are becoming apparent... (1) my ability to delete my own work by pressing the wrong button... (2) Mercedes.... (3) Sony Aibo.

Anyhow, Mercedes is playing around with this thing they call InfoFueling. Instead of (or as an alternative to or maybe to supplement), it's localized quick bursts of info. It's cheaper to broadcast traffic conditions to people on the road than to everyone. As for ordering music to play in the car? What's up with people's pipe dreams that people want to buy music the way they do newspapers? If anything, I'd like to rent music for a few months until I get bored with it and then get much of my deposit back, like when you sell used CD's. But I digress... the more fun story is that some researchers are trying to teach a Sony Aibo to talk. I like Sony.

And what do COOL, EGGS and WBVN have in common? Lost dreams. And now for something completely different... it's time to shave those beards and dig up those VCR's... I think the Gap should make turbans popular so that stupid people who like stereotypes can't so easily classify those that they would love to oppress. C'mon kids, let's get on the turban craze!

One more links and then I'm done for awhile. I swear... I could never be pregnant. Certainly not with four kids. Certainly not with two different birthdates. I hear it's really rare. But seriously, how do they figure stuff out like this? I mean, what if the wrong kid comes out when she's having contractions? They can't very well tell the kid to "get back in there". I tell my cat to go to bed and it mouths off at me. It goes into its room, but if I don't close the door, it comes right back out again. And besides, if a baby came out and had to go back in, would it really want to come out again? When instead it could stay inside where it was warm and comfortable? Or do they cut the mom open and pick the one they want to take out? What am I talking about? A woman I feel sorry for.

Dude, go home! They'd say that if there was anyone else left here. I welcome your emails on how I can improve the style of this thing. Should I give up and go back to one of the Cheesy(tm) Built-In Style Guides?

Monday, November 12, 2001

Tablet PC's are coming. I think they'll be cool. I hope it's not the fact that I used to watch Star Trek that makes tablets appealing but instead the promise of mobility.

Sony's releasing a new AIBO. I happen to think it's incredibly ugly. It looks too much like an evil robot. I like these because they are anti-evil looking. Of course, some times it's the fluffy bunnies that are the most dangerous, eh Anya? Ditto Monty Python.

And will we ever see HDTV? Or even DTV?

I feel I should add an addendum. An American Airlines plane crashed in New York this morning. It came to rest in a section of town where a number of fireman (they say "dozens") who died in the Sept. 11 tragedy used to live. The stock market dipped a little bit but recovered after it became apparent that it was an isolated incident. It sucks that planes crash, but when things go up, sometimes they come down in the wrong place. The first time the radio came on, there was music. After the snooze, the DJ was talking really somber about a crash and about how they should try to be entertaining, giving box office stats in a monotone depressing voice. It's a weird world we live in these days.
Wow... having one of these just makes you feel like you should have the power to tell why you're right and everyone else is wrong, huh?

Kind of like your manifesto destiny. And on top of that, if someone disagrees with you, you can just tell them to "Blog off" I still love this word... it's like a fake new curse word like Conan O'Brien's "crunk" or whatever it was. Ah, back in the days when I stayed up that late. It's gray outside and cold in here. It's mid-November and I'm already having those Christmas-holiday-burnt-out feelings.

Well, I've taken a moment off from work to come on here and post a few headlines that I found to be interesting. As luck would have it, it looks like the internet connection is going down. In my last job, that was the time to go back on the clock and save the break-time for when the internet was working. Of course, then there was a big huge merger and my job was deemed unnecessary. So now I make my own time, keep my own books and will eventually have to pay my own taxes. Good thing I'm not working too much.

So, here's the interesting news... Clear Channel, which owns, like, every single radio station is now going to allow you to buy music over the internet to listen to. And Lexus wants to bribe people to watch their commercials. A neat enough idea in theory, but if I had TiVo, I might be willing to consider participating. I don't know that it would really influence my decision to buy a Lexus, in that they cost way too much (though I have been known to drool over them unhealthily), but a chance to win a Lexus? Pretty cool. Personally, I hate commercials. If I could get the third VCR working correctly, I could pretty much tape everything and watch it all while skipping the commercials. Lastly, MSNBC has another article about oil and SUV's and conservation. You're probably thinking "been there, done that", but it's got some interesting things to note.

TV Guide has a good article on how they hope Friends will end this season. I couldn't agree more. Don't do the Mad About You death march. Please. And a Tennis Channel? But they have yet to launch my All Pursuit Network idea... all car chases, all the time. As always, more great headlines on TV Barn.

Malcolm in the Middle will get an hour-long episode after the Superbowl....saw Monsters, Inc. yesterday and I think I liked it better than Toy Story (I'm sorry, I'm sorry!)...Was it merely a coincidence that Jane Kaczmarek was on the Simpsons last night as a judge who lived on a houseboat only to be followed by an episode of Malcolm in the Middle where they took a vacation on a houseboat?

One last quick question... how come when we were kids we could just go over to our friends house and hang out? Maybe watch some cartoons, play some video games or Uno and just chill? And now-a-days you have to have a plan in advance, you change shirts, comb your hair, make sure you've got your wallet, keys, cell phone, organizer and that you've turned off lights, set your IM to away and then have to drive 10-20 minutes to see your friends for a pre-established dinner or movie viewing? Is it the pace of life or just the facts of getting older? Because if it's the facts of getting older, I hate it. Way too much planning involved. We're not even penciling you in these days, we're looking for a free time-slot on our handhelds. Ugh.

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Well, day 2. Gotta say I'm glad I don't normally have an excessive commute. Tonight I drove 10 miles in 12 minutes. Then I drove another 20 miles in 80 minutes. *sigh* I was mostly ok, until I got stuck amidst a bunch of stupid trucks. They should be banned from the roadway during rush hour. It seems like it would benefit everyone. To be sure, that's an incredibly simplistic viewpoint and would really torque off truck drivers. Any truck drivers out there?

I'm watching a news report on TV about a truck tracking system. It tracks big rigs and now they're making it so that if you disable it, it disables the truck. I'm sure that wouldn't stop anyone really determined, but it's pretty interesting.

Today was abnormal so I didn't follow the same tech news or even regular news, so no news links yet to paste to. Lunch was also detrimental to my diet and I was so tired when I got home that I didn't do any exercise. I think I'm going to go lift a little bit, but that's going to be the extent of my exercise.

Mercedes has a commercial where kids sing "Happy Fun Land." I think that Steven Spielberg should sue, because in Tiny Toons' "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," Hampton and Plucky go to Happy Fan Land.

And Sprint PCS... they have a commercial where a family wants to go to Steamboat Springs but due to static on their cellular phone, they end up in Palm Springs. Do they make the best of it? Noo... they try to make snow angels in the sand and trundle around in full snow gear. Silly people. Of course, having had a Sprint PCS phone, I know the conversation with the travel agent would have gone more like "Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?" BEEP BEEP BEEP.Then you redial and if it goes through they hear something like "Hi ..... z .... can .... kets .... spree ..." Sorry, but I'll take static anyday over that horrible cutting out effect. Although I have Verizon so I don't have cut outs or static. Besides, what kind of idiots are these family? Did they not check their tickets? Did they not hear the airline announcements and question that maybe they're on the wrong plane? And who, when they find out they're in sun instead of snow bemoan it? Silly, silly people.

Ok, time to go lift.

Monday, November 05, 2001

Huh. Lesson 1. Save your data before hitting the "settings" button. Good to know.

Well, let's start this puppy up again from square one and see where it leads us.

Hello, and welcome to my blog. I think I like the word blog. Reminds me of both blob and blah. I'll try to make sure this doesn't end up being either.

All you need to know about me will be revealed in good time. I'm not sure yet what I'll cover, or if I'll give this a serious go before I tire of it. Hopefully with this incredibly simple format, I'll be able to continue this. But continue it why? Well, I feel like I have something to say. I always feel like I have something to say. Unfortunately, I don't always have someone around who wants to hear it. (Often, I have people around who don't want to hear it, but are just unlucky.)

Now, I can have my little corner in cyberspace and I won't necessarily know if no one's heard it. I have a feeling that my posts will be eclectic mixes of things that I've read throughout the day that I find interesting. That and anything that casts America Online in a bad light. I'm not a big fan of theirs. But I'm unfortunately a stockholder. So maybe it's best if no one does read my blog, lest I affect my own holdings negatively. Of course, I kid. I don't think I have the power to actually sway any control over the world's largest monopoly... yet.

I think I've written enough for an introduction. I guess we'll see where this thing takes us.