Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Follies

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Originally uploaded by nor¤cal¤jeff.
Here's a short examination of why DVD players have regions--and how to get rid of them. From Wise Bread.

Back before the invasion of Afghanistan, when the world was telling the U.S. that it wasn't possible, one of the reasons given was the "brutal Afghan winters." And it does get cold there occasionally -- almost as cold as it gets here, at any of our numerous ski resorts. I thought of that when I read about the woman who skinny-dipped in the Trevi fountain in Rome, to "beat the heat". The blistering record heat wave of... 27 Celsius (80 Fahrenheit).

Emotive's flagship product, the patent-pending "Push Ringer", reverses the common ringtone model. It enables a caller to push an outgoing ringtone to the receiving phone allowing the caller, not the called person, to set the tone. Oh, great, just what we need. I've already seen a roomful of people doing the Cellphone Macarena because they can't tell whose phone is ringing, and that's when they know what they set their ringtone to. Want to hear another reason this is a bad idea? You think spam e-mails are frustrating, wait until someone "pushes" a sales pitch onto your phone. Imagine the hilarity when your pocket asks you if your pen!s is really large enough for you. During an important meeting.

Sheryl Crow thinks we can all get by with "only one square [of toilet paper] per restroom visit." Fortunately, Rosie O'Donnell performed a public service by delivering an untoppable answer to Crow's suggestion: "Have you seen my ass?"

Looking for a fast moneymaking scheme? Buy a herd of sheep, take them to Japan, and sell them to the locals. Tell 'em they're poodles. They won't know the difference: They don't have many sheep in Japan. Oops, too late.

John Q. Public really didn't need more reasons to hate Wal-Mart. BusinessWeek suggests that the recent implosion of some of the nation's largest electronics retailers (CompUSA, Tweeter, Rex, Circuit City) is attributable to WallyWorld having broken the $1000 barrier for flat-screen televisions back on Black Friday 2006. Just as their aggressive toy and grocery pricing killed FAO Schwarz and Winn-Dixie, respectively. (Saw it at The New Shelton Wet/Dry.) The Wall Street Journal reports that "In past decades, deejays and music critics helped shape musical trends. Today, many music industry executives agree, the big boxes have become the new tastemakers." And we all know whose box is the biggest. (Saw it at the Consumerist.) And now Forbes has named "the Wal-Mart squeeze", summarized by the Consumerist thusly: "The more stuff you sell at Walmart the more dependant your company is on their various whims. The result? The most stuff you sell, the smaller your profit margin is."

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