It's 12-13-14

Happy Fourth!

Google Backpacks and Pressure Cookers Lead to unwanted guests

Noosa Yogurt is no more

Steve Jobs Dies

Google Labs Closing

The worst products ... part 1

That old newspaper ...

Amazing Party Tricks

It's Binary Day! 10.10.10





It's 12-13-14
Saturday, December 13th, 2014 8:28 PM

I thought it was kind of cool.



Happy Fourth!
Friday, July 4th, 2014 6:50 PM

I wonder how many people could actually pass the citizen’s test. Great stories from NPR here.



Google Backpacks and Pressure Cookers Lead to unwanted guests
Thursday, August 1st, 2013 10:39 PM

According to an article in the article by Michele Catalano, her husband searched for pressure cookers and backpacks on Google. This somehow led to a visit from the “Joint Terrorism Taskforce” which included six agents who asked to search her their home. The details are still filtering in but if there was a ever a reason that NSA dragnet surveillance should worry you, this should be it. Those people who aren’t worried because they aren’t doing anything wrong should look to this example. Welcome to the police states of America, home of the free. Yay!



Noosa Yogurt is no more
Thursday, August 1st, 2013 4:25 PM

I love it when we discover something new. About a year ago, we discovered Noosa Yoghurt, a version of Queensland Yoghurt, a local Australian favorite, that was brought over to the US by an Australian expat along with the founders of that company. It was made in Colorado using fresh milk from local farmers and sweetened with honey. What set it apart from the myriad yogurts in the refrigerated section was it’s uncanny velvety sweet texture. It was amazing. While not exactly health food, it was healthier than ice cream in many regards and was our go-to dessert or indulgence. I suspect the reason it was so delicious was because of the extra cream and skim milk protein they added. Did I mention it was delicious. We used to crave the stuff and ate the whole 8oz two serving tub. They had almost immediate success and soon grew out of their local Colorado market to the entire Northwest and finally to a nationwide market when they started being carried by Target Stores.

Recently, the company, for whatever reason, decided to change its winning formula and reformulate the recipe. Now, they added kosher gelatin, they apparently removed some sugar and some fat and added new cultures. Why? The company has not commented on why. It’s sad though because it was delicious and unique in a world of generic regular yogurt and thick Greek yogurt. Noosa now tastes generic. It is no longer vegetarian friendly and still costs a premium. Why? For some reason massive success always leads to changes that usually for the worst. This is no exception but it is a shame.



Steve Jobs Dies
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 10:29 PM

I truly feel a personal sense of loss for a person I’ve never met but really wanted to. Expected and Unexpected. I kind of was hoping he’d show up as a surprise at the iPhone event yesterday and now this …

Steve Jobs 1955-2011



Google Labs Closing
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 10:27 AM

In a sad bit of news, Google announced that it would be shuttering Google Labs, the experimental department where new products such as my favorites like Google Goggles, FastFlip and Google Body were all born. And now it seems they die. Very innovative stuff will be shuttered there. A shame, really.



The worst products ... part 1
Sunday, February 20th, 2011 10:50 PM

This “HighTech Laser Pet Toy” by Miraclebeam is an example of the worst kind of product, one that claims more than it is. It’s essentially a cheap Chinese laser pointer, a key ring type that’s being marketed as much more. Here it is marketed as a pet toy. For years, it’s been known that cats and dogs love to chase the dot of a laser pointer. Now, it’s marketed as almost being an new experience. That doesn’t really bother me. If someone wants to part with 10 dollars to give their pet a good time even if the pill batteries run out in an hour, no problemo. The problem comes when the item in question “exceeds FDA standards” when the it’s actually regulated by a branch of the FDA called the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Marketing it this way makes it seem it’s undergone rigorous FDA testing like most drugs which want to be sold in the US. Further, the packaging reads “A proud USA company” and right below it, rather blatantly, it reads “made in China.” I understand outsourcing labor to save costs but then don’t claim to be a proud USA company. Finally, the front of the package boldly claims “the world’s most powerful handheld red laser,” which is perhaps the most egregious claim. There are tons that are more powerful, some powerful enough to light a match or pop a balloon. Ugh.


Exceeds FDA Standards. Huh?

A proud USA company. Uh huh.



That old newspaper ...
Saturday, December 18th, 2010 4:27 PM

It seems that the just like the Wilhelm scream, this prop newspaper makes appearances in movies from the 1960s until today, even appearing in my favorite recent comedy, Modern Family. Katalin Szűcs has painstakingly compiled screenshots featuring the paper here. Take a gander. It comes from a company called the Earl Hayes Press and allows you customize the front page but the interior always stays the same. Now if only I can track down that damn milk carton I see in all the shows.


The newspaper appears again.



Amazing Party Tricks
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 10:24 PM

Dr. Richard Wiseman, a psychologist and Magician has these amazing little tricks to share. Isn’t science wonderful?

Via Boing Boing



It's Binary Day! 10.10.10
Sunday, October 10th, 2010 11:51 AM

For the last time this century, it’s gonna be 10.10.10. I hope you find an appropriate way to celebrate.

Binary Day. 10.10.10