Tag: Technology

And now a few thoughts about Spotify

And now a few thoughts about Spotify

Internet, Music
I've been hearing about Spotify, one of the seemingly endless number of music listening applications and sites out there, for months. But as it was not available in the U.S. I didn't pay it much mind. But that all changed today, as Spotify is now available to us here in the good ol' U.S. of A. And like every other service I've ever used, Spotify promises to change the way we listen to music. Just like their nifty little promo video says: Sounds good huh? I decided to take the plunge and download Spotify, so I could see just how much my world would be rocked. For reference, I already use the following services to one degree or another: Last.fm Rhapsody Slacker All of those services have their good and bad points, and between the three of them I pretty much get what I ne...
Retrotisements: RIP Sony Walkman (1979 – 2010)

Retrotisements: RIP Sony Walkman (1979 – 2010)

Advertising, Retrotisements
You ever read an obituary on some famous, really old celebrity and think, "I thought that person was dead already"?  I reacted in much the same way when I read recently that one of Sony's most famous products, the Walkman, was discontinued from production in Japan. Who even listens to cassettes anymore, except hipsters wanting to look all ironic?  And more importantly, who would listen to one in public? Well at one time the Sony Walkman was the product to have, and I was a proud owner.  I can't say I'll miss them, even though I have fond memories of playing my cassette copy of Alive! on an endless loop as a youth.  But it's an important piece of music history, so the least I can do is throw some classic Walkman advertisements your way.  Check back in 30 years so we can wax nostalgic
How much would you pay for this?

How much would you pay for this?

Funny Stuff
I can certainly appreciate the audiophile mentality. Paying top dollar for good musical equipment is not wasted money in my opinion. Usually. And then there's the Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable, modestly priced at $500. You heard that right, $500 for a 59-inch copper cable. Let that sink in for a minute. And then check out some of the product reviews on Amazon.com. Here's a few of my favorites: This Cable Improved my Health! Thank you Denon. I suffer from a rare R/F allergy which makes it nearly impossible for me to leave my lead lined sarcophagus (unless there is a power outage). Generally i can only listen to music on an accoustic gramaphone and hence my library consists entirely of John Phillips Suza. That all changed when i got the Denon AKDL1 dream maker. No random ...
More mysteries of the universe

More mysteries of the universe

Rants
Would it unconstitutional to introduce capital punishment for anyone who posts a variation of "First!" to start a comment thread? How about for people who use the words "preggo" or "preggers"? Is there a bigger oxymoron than Ticketmaster's "convenience charge"? For whom is it convenient to spend 8-10 bucks to get a piece of paper printed? Why is it that most reality shows are more obviously scripted than non-reality shows? As far as I can remember, the only true "reality" show I have ever seen is COPS. How did drivers ever find their way around before the advent of portable GPS devices? What did people say instead of "drinking the Kool-Aid" before Jonestown? WTF is wrong with Carrot Top? At what point does a human being look at himself in the mirror and decide this is a ...
This Week in History! (March 24-30)

This Week in History! (March 24-30)

History
March 24, 1989: The Exxon tanker Valdez accidentally hits the state of Alaska, spilling about 11 million gallons of oil. Capt. Joseph Hazlewood was later convicted of negligent discharge of oil and failing to leave a note at the scene of an accident. What's scary is that it's not even one of the 50 worst oil spills of all-time. March 27, 1884: The first long-distance telephone call takes place, between New York and Boston. Contrary to urban legend, the content of the call was not "Red Sox suck!" March 27, 1998: The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of Viagra; sales of used Corvettes and Mustangs drop 78%. March 28, 1930: Constantinople changes its name to Istanbul; provides fodder for quirky rock bands of the future. March 28, 1979: An accident at the Three Mile ...
Does this make me a tech geek or a football geek?

Does this make me a tech geek or a football geek?

Funny Stuff
So apparently Microsoft is developing a web analytics tool to rival Google Analytics, which is one service I already use for this blog. The code name for this new service is Gatineau, named after the Canadian city where the original developer is located. No matter how good the service might end up being under its new name, it's always going to be a little tainted for me because I see the name 'Gatineau' and instantly think of former NFL defensive star Mark Gastineau. So now when I see Microsoft's service I will always think of the stupid Sack Dance he popularized in the '80s (and which presaged many of the inane celebrations that now pepper every NFL game). So there's a little insight into my demented mind.
Are you addicted to the Internet?

Are you addicted to the Internet?

Funny Stuff, Listcruft
There is no shortage of press and academic research covering the topic of so-called Internet Addiction. Of course, the first reaction of any true addict is "not me!" This denial is usually followed by surprise, realization, and then descent into an all-too familiar shame spiral. In the interest of science and self-improvement I've spent the last few weeks keeping a meticulous log of my daily activities, in order to better understand just how the Internet fits into my life. The results, needless to say, confirm that I totally have this thing under control. Just take a look at last Thursday's log (time spent is total throughout the day, not consecutive): 45 minutes spent updating my Wikipedia watchlist to make sure some snot-nosed high school punk hasn't vandalized one of my favor...
Maybe you could buy an iPhone…

Maybe you could buy an iPhone…

Funny Stuff
...but then again, no. I mean it's cool and all, but for the amount of money ($499 for the cheaper model) you'd spend on it you could get the following goodness instead: 1 Maytag 3.2-cubic foot, top-loading washing machine. Now you can stop hanging out at the laundromat, unless you're actually into it. 2.94 sets of the complete run of The Twilight Zone on DVD. The good one, not the '80s revival or the crappy one with Forest Whitaker. 3.81 bags of 2007 Kennedy half-dollars, 200 coins each. Don't spend them all in one place. 4.99 sets of the Lil Jon Pimp Cup Combo. Of course you'll want to splurge and get the full fifth set. 33.29 "Dramatic Chipmunk" t-shirts. Actually, it's a prairie dog but whatever. Get yours now and be relevant for the next 2 weeks! 41.65 brand-n...
Retrotisements – Telephone technology

Retrotisements – Telephone technology

Advertising, Retrotisements
With the release of the much-ballyhooed iPhone just around the corner, I thought I'd take a look at a few other telephone innovations of the past. Satellite phone service While satellite phone service is no big deal now - and has in fact been eclipsed by cell phones in terms of sheer usage - this 1960 ad from Douglas (pre-McDonnell) recalls a time when the technology was very much new and exciting (the first American satellite, Explorer I, had only been launched in late January 1958). Picturephone   Other than jet-powered cars, few things scream "FUTURE!" like videophones. This 1968 ad from Western Electric (the manufacturing arm of AT&T) promised to bring the future to the present through the introduction of the Picturephone, but for a variety of reasons it flopped...