Archive for September, 2008

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Seinfeld – Microsoft ads: Everyone else is too stupid to understand

September 23, 2008

I’ve been holding off talking about the new Microsoft ad campaign designed to change public perceptions about the company and, in particular, about Vista.  I wanted to see where Microsoft was going with these ads before I formed an opinion.  The problem is, Microsoft has caved to a bunch of people who are less intelligent than them and pulled some of their best ads featuring Jerry Seinfeld.

If you take a look around most technology blogs, their forums are riddled with people who HATE the Bill Gates – Jerry Seinfeld ads.  These people claim that the ads are a failure because they don’t even mention Vista.  The problem is, these people aren’t intelligent enough to understand that not mentioning Vista is kind of the whole point of these ads.  These forum posters already have a bad opinion of Microsoft and it seems to make them angry that they aren’t smart enough to figure out the point of these commercials.  It’s like a child who throws a temper tantrum because they can’t solve a simple puzzle.  It’s too difficult for their brains and instead of stepping up to the challenge presented to their minds, they simply give up and whine.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Apologies

September 23, 2008

I’ve been a bit absent from this little blog of mine for a few weeks.  First I was pounded by a head cold that devolved into a massive chest cough.  Then my girlfriend has been finding a thousand and one projects around the house to get the house ready for a big party in a couple of weeks.  So, I haven’t been able to get on here as much as I’d care to.  That means that some comments have been sitting in my moderation bin for awhile.  Sorry about that.

I’ll try to keep up now that things seem to be settling down a bit.  Thanks for reading and commenting!  Keep them coming!

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Half double decaffeinated half caf…with a twist of lemon

September 17, 2008

After being sick for what seems like the entire history of the United States, I am wondering why the hell the only taste choices in medicine are some kind of green mint junk and something that is supposed to be cherry?  There are thousands of candy flavors out there!  Why are we limited to two of the most vile flavors in the flavor palette?  I want some watermelon cough syrup!  I want root beer float flavored NyQuil!  Jelly Bellys come in 73 billion different flavors!  Why can’t I have some of those with medicine in them?

Plus, why are we limited in our choices of how to take the medicine?  Why are they either syrups or pills?  Why can’t I have a little Crystal Lite-style package that allows me to pour the medicine into a diet Pepsi or something?  Come on!  This is the freaking Buck Rogers future, for Pete’s sake!  I want my damn medicine in different flavors and in different formats, dammit!

This is completely unrelated to this post, but I thought this picture was funny:

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Reason #43 to hate Digg

September 3, 2008

I used to read Digg, and in fact, I still do from time to time.  For those that don’t know, Digg is a news aggregation site where the users submit and vote on articles.  The more popular the article, the more likely it is to make it to the main Digg home page.  Digg users scour the web for exciting or new articles, then submit those stories to Digg.  The other users then digg the article if they like it.  If an article makes it to the home page, the original site hosting the article can see a massive jump in the number of people viewing their site.  Smaller sites can be brought down completely by the “Digg effect”.  Larger sites can see increased revenue from ad profits or other venues.

Which leads me to an interview that Invesp did with a top Digg user.  A user who consistently submits good stories can become a top user.  Since Digg is a community site, it’s all about networking.  When a user keeps submitting good stories, other users keep an eye out for that user’s submissions and vote for it.  Now, businesses aren’t stupid.  They know that Digg is a massively popular site.  So some of these top Digg users will whore their services out to these businesses. This one user in the interview charges about $1200 to get an article to the front page.

This is one of the big reasons I have stopped reading Digg for the most part.  Once I found out about the blatant manipulation that goes on, and how hard it is for a regular user who doesn’t have the network connections that a top user has to get his or her article to the front page, I stopped caring.  Digg essentially became a big television that constantly shows commercials.  You might get a bit of information here and there, but mostly you’re just being used by bigger businesses to drive customers to their sites.

This is similar to what happens on YouTube.  If you want your video on YouTube to go viral, you better have deep pockets and you better contact one of those businesses that can guarantee your video will get to the most popular video section.  It’s disgusting to me to see something that should be so pure, driven entirely by the community, be perverted by some greedy little shits and big business.

If you insist on reading Digg, then stick to the Upcoming section and avoid the Popular section.  You’ll get a much more well-rounded view of user submissions because the articles in the Upcoming section have yet to be latched onto by the drones who will digg any story submitted by a top user.  Avoid the top user stories if you want to help put the kibosh on this pay-for-front-page bullshit.  Don’t know who the top users are?  Click here to see a constantly updated list of the top submitters.

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How to completely ruin a beautiful car

September 1, 2008

No, I’m not going to tell you how to beat the ever loving crap out of a classic car.  I figure that most people here could do it themselves without much instruction.  When I talk about ruining a beautiful car, I’m talking about bolting an ugly ass license plate to the front of it.

I have a black 2004 Acura TL.  It’s awesome and I love my baby.  I also live in Maryland.  If you have ever seen the Maryland license plate, you know that it is one of the most cheap-shit, phone-it-in design jobs ever forced onto a license plate.  Whatever simpleton won the design contest to create the look of the Maryland plate should be beaten with a boxed version of Photoshop until the edges of the box are heavily blunted.

Seriously, it’s fucking obnoxious just how plain it is.  Now, you can imagine my consternation at having to bolt this ugly beast onto my car.  My bumper has a nice sporty edge to it, and it has to be ruined because I have to mount this plate to a special black mounting rectangle.

Now, all this talking about my license plate got me thinking.  What do other state plates look like?  I know what Oregon and Washington plates look like because I’m originally from Oregon and I saw both states’ plates every day.  I know what Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. plates look like because, again, I’m in Maryland and I see those plates every day.  But what about other states?  Chances are, I’ve seen every state plate made in the past 10 years.  Being located around military bases exposes you to that sort of variety.

But what about you people?  How many of you have seen Hawai’i plates?  Alaska?  Rhode Island?  Read the rest of this entry ?