Sunday, February 17, 2008

Glides like a 2 bedroom apartment

Received e-mail from Expedia yesterday confirming my flights to/from Iasi in Romania next month. The flight from Iasi to Bucharest on 3/21 looks to be very interesting. I will, in fact, be flying not on a modern jet aircraft, rather in a 2 bedroom apartment for 5. No indication if refreshments will be served during the journey. I presume I can just go into the kitchen and whip myself up a snack...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Videora - Tivo Converter

Useful little app: Videora enables you to convert your regular PC video files (avi, mpeg, etc) into the proper video format that your TiVo understands. Once it's complete it will place the completed files in the directory that is synced with your Tivo. You can then locate and transfer the converted files from your Tivo "now playing" screen. One of the additional benefits of Videora is that you don't have to shell out $25 to Tivo for Desktop Plus. Videora conversion isn't quick (depends on the size of the file you're converting. A feature length movie can take an hour and a half to convert) - but that's OK. I just set it running before I go to bed or leave for the office and the shows/movies are waiting for me when I next turn on the TV.

There's a great set of instructions regarding Videora for Tivo on Lifehacker.

Friday, February 15, 2008

SCO: The man behind the woman behind the man

"The SCO Group Announces Reorganization Plan to Include $100 Million Financing by Stephen Norris Capital Partners" [Groklaw]

One of the members of Stephen Norris Capital Partners' Investment Committee is Pamela J. Newman.

Amongst other things, Pamela serves on the board of "Chipwich Chippoppitty".


Chipwich Chippoppitty Incorporated
105 Shad Row, Piermont, NY
(845) 359-1440

You can learn more about Chipwich by consulting "Mr. Chipwich" who has "some exciting news for you". Apparently he's invented a new form of fuel....

So let me get this straight. A member of the investment committee of the company that is pouring $100 million into a company that has just had the shit beaten out of it in court and has been sent running home to find that someone has stomped on their toys, is qualified to do so based on their stunning investment acumen evidenced by their relationship with someone named "Mr. Chipwich"?

Dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Kaossilator!

Talk about love at first site! The Kaossilator is something that William Gibson could easily weave into a story. It's a pocket sized synthesizer that employs a touch pad to manipulate pitch and sound. It has a bazillion (well, lots) of built in sound effects including a full drum kit. Even a musical duffer such as I can be turning out halfway reasonable loops within seconds (check out the video to see of what this thing is capable). ThinkGeek sometimes has these in stock for the I'd-buy-two-at-twice-the-price pittance of $199.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Definition of the word "rebate"

Rebate: A deduction from an amount to be paid or a return of part of an amount given in payment.
Everyone got that? Clearly our friends at USA Today (yes - the one with all the pictures) don't know what rebate means. USA Today is running an article about the upcoming drive-our-country-greater-into-debt so-called economic stimulus package. Hilarity ensues in the Q&A section:

Q: What about people who don't owe any income tax?

A: Even if you didn't owe any income tax, you're still eligible for a rebate of $300
How is a "rebate" possible if you haven't paid anything in the first place? This is not a rebate it's a "hand out" or "stupid ass giveaway". Robert A. Heinlein pretty well summed it up in his book “Time Enough For Love” when he wrote - “When the people learn that they can vote themselves Cake and Champagne and force you to pay for it; they will.”

Pass the fork.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

My Only Connection.... either team playing in the Superbowl today is via Rich Segina with whom I worked at VA Software. I happened over this today: Just Another Night's Work for Giants from 1991.

So, Go Giants!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Make Your Mind Up!

Dear Yahoo. I can understand that the unsolicited offer from Microsoft to buy you may have you in somewhat of a tizzy, but come on! Is this evening's showing of 'War of the Worlds' its TV premiere or a repeat? You sound like the weatherman hedging his bets with lines like "cloudy today, with sunny spells, chance of rain. changeable" -- covers pretty much all the bases.

Pepsi Stuff

Joint Amazon-Pepsi promotion has kicked off. Pepsi has been doing this for quite some time. With some surprising outcomes:

1999; A federal judge in New York City has dismissed a breach of contract and fraudulent advertising lawsuit against Pepsico Inc. brought by a plaintiff who took its television commercial literally and presented the company with the necessary cash and merchandise points to obtain a Harrier Jet fighter plane... Pepsico, the manufacturer of Pepsi Cola and other soft drink products, ran a television commercial in 1995 and 1996 promoting its Pepsi Points program in which Pepsi drinkers could accumulate points and exchange them for "Pepsi Stuff," gifts from a gift catalogue published by the company.

The commercial showed a male teenager leaving for school attired in various Pepsi Stuff clothing items while subtitles indicated how many points are required to obtain each item. One such banner read, "LEATHER JACKET 1,450 PEPSI POINTS." In the next scene, the same teenager is shown arriving at school in a Harrier Jet. The subtitle then reads, "HARRIER JET FIGHTER 7,000,000 PEPSI POINTS."

The Pepsi Points catalogue did not include the Harrier Jet, but it stated that if a consumer lacks sufficient points to redeem an item, he or she could purchase the required points from Pepsico at 10 cents each.

Inspired by the ad, Seattle resident John R. Leonard set out to accumulate the cash and points needed to claim the jet, which is valued at $23 million. He raised $700,000 from friends -- seven million points at ten cents each -- and sent a check and 15 Pepsi Points along with an order form from the catalogue to Pepsico."

I wonder if John Leonard is an Amazon customer and is planning something similar with Justin Timberlake?

Stating the Obvious

From the Seattle Times today: "Bombers described as mentally disabled" - story about two women suicide bombers in Iraq. I'd argue that *all* bombers are mentally disabled. What sane person is going strap explosives to themselves and set them off? I paid $0.50 for this earth shattering piece of insight. I want my money back!