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ARCHIVES: April 24-30, 2004

 

April 30, 2004 - Friday

Pepsi iTunes Giveaway

Read this on A Whole Lotta Nothing (which also has a review of the new version of iTunes):

 

Signal vs. Noise posted about the results of Pepsi's iTunes 100 million song giveaway, where only 5 million were redeemed to this point.

 

I am not surprised. In fact, it might be exactly what Pepsi expected. People don't redeem half the coupons put out, especially not ones that involve some technical know-how and computer access.

 

I enjoyed it, though. I got over a half dozen songs. According to TechTV, iTunes has sold twice as many songs as any other music service. Wal-Mart was second.

 

 

Smart Labels to Replace Bar Codes

Bar codes are undergoing an improvement. This reminds me of a friend here in town who went to the local craft store. They refuse to deal with bar codes, instead typing each price at the checkout. Considering how the big the store is, I was surprised. My friend said she asked one clerk who said, "Bar codes are the tool of the devil." Uh, okay.

 

Another friend said she thinks it is just too expensive of a system. Maybe this new smart label program would be better.

 

 

Tabbed Browsing

I love tabbed browsing. I keep Mozilla handy, but when I want to "tab browse" with it, I have to go through an extra click to make the page open in a tab, even though I have the options set to automatically tab browse. It won't do it automatically no matter how I set it. (Maybe my Mozilla is broken in this regard.) I also have Mozilla mail -- good program.

 

On the other hand, SlimBrowser will tab browse automatically, no extra clicking required. Since SlimBrowser just rides on top of IE Explorer, I use both it and Mozilla. Some sites work better with one or the other. I even have Outlook Express running, too. I guess I want it all.

 

 

April 29, 2004 - Thursday

Overshooting the Runway

Dad sent me this photo which is making the e-mail rounds right now. I verified its authenticty through a friend who has a daughter living in that area. I can just imagine the shock of a motorist turning the corner and seeing this:

 

 

Here's the text that went with this:

 

NORFOLK Naval Air Station Virginia -- One of the military's largest transports was stuck on a runway atop the I-564 overpass for more than 16 hours today, unable to turn around at the West end of Chambers Field at the Norfolk Naval Station. The incident, starting about 1 a.m., forced the closing of the field for most of the day to all but helicopter traffic and made for a dramatic sight to hundreds of motorists passing beneath it during the morning rush hour.

"That thing's like a big building sitting there.'' said some motorists. The nose of the aircraft actually stuck out and OVER the Interstate!

The aircraft's nose was so far over the end of the ramp, the crew was unable to see the runway where it was supposed to turn around. The pilot stopped the aircraft and prevented it from running off the ramp.

They also stated that it was too tight of a turn to turn the aircraft around. The Air Force C-5 Galaxy, largest airplane in the free world, is almost as long as a football field and as high as a six-story building. A 420 tons with a full load, it uses a system of 28 wheels to distribute its weight. The aircraft spent most of the day waiting for a specially made tow bar to be trucked to the base from Dover, Del. The tow bar arrived about noon and was used to hook the C-5 to a tractor so the aircraft could be turned around. The plane was moved off the runway by 4:30 p.m., No one was hurt, and the plane was not damaged.

 

 

Google's Blog Search Option

Google is getting one step closer to implementing their blog search options, according to this report.

 

 

April 28, 2004 - Wednesday

Tuck Everlasting

I saw another movie for the first time -- Tuck Everlasting. It was well-made and never boring, but the whole premise stunk. The movie tried to sell us on the idea that perfect health and living forever was undesirable. Undesirable? Who could swallow that? It also involved love refused. The whole story was disappointing.

 

 

April 27, 2004 - Tuesday

The Sum of All Fears

I watched this movie for the first time last night. Whew -- it was good. I especially like how the U.S. sticks it to the bad guys at the very end -- no wimpy conclusion in this movie. Go U.S.!

 

 

April 26, 2004 - Monday

Dvorak on Outsourcing

PC Magazine came today with a great article from Dvorak on the shame of outsourcing. While its not online yet, it will be eventually printed in his online column.

 

Dvorak says there's a large publicity engine running to make outsourcing sound like it is creating jobs and good for the economy while in reality, I believe it is not helping the average American at all.

 

He also talks about a company scam where a top engineer, nearing retirement is being paid, say $80,000 dollars. The company decides to eliminate his job, create a "new" job doing the exact same thing and only offering $35,000 per year. If he can't take the job, they outsource for an even lower wage. He called it a big scam.

 

He says workers in India are being taught to talk without an accent, invent fake American-sounding names, and required to not reveal their location. Obviously, they don't want us to know how much work is being sent out of the country.

 

I do not believe this is creating more jobs and allowing companies to be more competitive. Neither does Dvorak.

 

 

Technorati

Thanks to MedicMom's comments on the next page, I learned about Technorati, a blog content search engine in beta right now. They track over 2 million blogs. Searches can be done with results from the most recent blog entries. This is fun! Thanks, Sonia!

   

 

Which is Faster?

Saw this on Good Morning America: generally, it's faster to stand in line to get movie tickets than to use Fandango, Web or Phone ticket services (and cheaper) to get into a movie. 

 

While I hate them, it is faster to use self-checkouts than to stand in a cashier line (if you know how to use them, that is).

 

Finding a phone number using a phonebook is faster than Web or information services.

 

In getting fast food, drive-through windows are faster than going inside, they say.

 

 

April 25, 2004 - Sunday

Categorized PhotoBlog

Having over 2,400 photos, I decided to lump them into categories, thanks to the free tools from TextAmerica.com where my photoblog is located. I hope to categorize every photo within the next couple of weeks. So far, there's two month's worth.

 

 

 

Italian Food is Disappearing

Two Italian food places have closed down here. One was a large Italian buffet called Papa Lovetti's and the other was a handy Fazolis - Italian fast food with superb breadsticks. In fact, if you went inside the place, they would come out with hot, fresh breadsticks every few minutes and offer them to customers for free. Both places seemed to be pretty busy. I don't think lack of business was the problem.

 

Granted, neither of them produced the quality of Macaroni Grill or Olive Garden, but they were fast and cheap. I will miss them.

 

P.S. I just found out that Papa Lovetti's had consistently bad health scores -- maybe the owners decided it was not worth the trouble to do what was needed to get the health code up. I know someone who will not go to buffets anyway -- they don't like handling utensils that other customers have handled, for one. (Never my problem, though.)

 

 

April 24, 2004 - Saturday

Spyware Blaster

Wow! My husband has been using this program for a week and finds it leaves his Ad-Aware with little to do. What it does is set Internet Explorer or Mozilla so spyware cookies and evil Active-X controls can not be run on the computer. It is free, auto-updates and, after testing it with known spyware cookie sites, it works well.

 

Here's more information and a download link --> SpyWare Blaster. I read reviews of it on several sites and it gets the top rating at every site.

 

I'd rather have the cookies never come to my computer in the first place.

 

 

Frog Choir

What a noisy chorus this morning! Several bullfrogs were singing at once. Here's a short wav file of the group - made this morning--> Frog Chorus.

 

    

Want a Job in Libya?

A friend of mine once served in Libya in the military. (I know that he was a newspaper reporter/editor for part of his military service.) Recently, he got a call from the U.S. Government, he told me (and gave me permission to retell it here). They explained that he was recommended by a retired general who said my friend got along well with the local population and they wanted to offer him a job going back there for a year or so.

 

He asked the phone caller what kind of job it would be. The caller said he could not tell him unless he accepted. My friend said he could not accept unless he knew the job details. So it was a stalemate.

 

Then my friend asked the caller, "Do you know how long ago it was that I served in Libya? It was in the 1940's!" The caller said, "Oh, we thought your birthdate was in the 1940's."

 

My friend corrected him -- he was born in the 1920's! THAT statement ended the job offer. I don't think the government was looking to establish a geriatric group in Libya.

 

I guess it is no secret that the U.S. wants to establish a bigger presence there - and I can understand. Here's one news article I found about it.

 

 

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