Category: Stupidity

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Someone Wake Me From This Nightmare of Black Friday Sales Gluttony

Cough. Choke. Collapse. That’s me nearly needing the Heimlich maneuver during breakfast while looking over Samsung Black Friday deals. You can preorder them. Seriously. What the frak is that?

The routine started all so innocently. Samsung sent a promo email, and I curiously clicked the picture of a Chromebook and “Reserve Computing Deals”. You can, today—as in right this very minute—preorder either Samsung Chromebook 2 for assured savings ($20 or $50) between November 27 and December 1 for one and until the 27th for the other. I understand that Black Friday is late-month this year, but, c`mon, beat me with a sack of cash, sales preorders

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Pitch-me Journalism is Anything but Journalism

So, let me understand. David Pogue, the popular blogger contracted by the New York Times, shills for public-relations companies—demonstrating gross conflict of interest—and the consequence is what? He’s barred from making certain PR-influenced speeches?

The Times doesn’t go nearly far enough. The excuse: “Pogue is a freelancer, not a staffer. Philip B. Corbett, associate managing editor for standards, noted that under the policy freelancers are held to the same standards as staff members ‘when they are on Times assignments’. In this case, he wasn’t on assignment for The Times”.

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Toilet Training

If you’re one of those offensive people who talk on the cell phone in bathrooms—particularly public loos—your behavior stinks more than your poop. There may not be more appropriate place to assert that you’re on my shit list, bud. Bathroom phone calling is bad etiquette by just about any measure.

I cringe when walking by a public toilet stall and hearing someone talking into their cell phone. I’ve heard men taking what clearly are business calls. Oh, please! I’d fire your ass, for sitting it on the toilet seat and talking to me (your client or boss). Could toilet talking be the real reason for noise-cancelling cell phones or Bluetooth earpieces? Surely someone will hear you doing your toilet business—or that of the person in the next stall—while you’re taking the call.

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'Can Ping Be Saved?' is the Wrong Question

Apple’s social music discovery service isn’t even a week old and Fortune blogger Philip Elmer-DeWitt asks: “Can Ping be saved?” Oh yeah? One million signups in 48 hours is such a failure. There are thousands of CEOs or product line managers who would say: “Gimme that problem. I’ll suffer through the failure of gaining 1 million customers in just two days.”

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TechCrunch and Woot play to AP’s Weakness

Some people—heck, some organizations—have no sense of humor. Humorless perhaps best describes Associated Press, which apparently didn’t get Woot’s joke about owing money for a blog excerpt. TechCrunch’s MG Siegler put AP in its place today, that’s assuming there isn’t yet a nasty takedown-notice response coming.

Some quick background: About two years ago, AP decided that no one should excerpt its content without paying for it. The policy defies decades of journalist practices and fair-use laws. I could understand AP going after blocks of text, but no, it’s the little excerpts, too. Excerpt up to 50 words and AP expects you to pay $17.50; 100 bucks for 251 words or more. The approach is controversial, as it should be.

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Even Paper Is Better Than Windows Mobile

Say, does anyone remember that the Census Bureau was supposed to use HTC handsets running Windows Mobile 5 this year? I briefly blogged about the strange deal on April 6, 2006: “When New Technology is Old Again.”

HTC handsets running Windows Mobile used for the 2010 Census go oddly together—or they did four years ago. The Census Bureau had reportedly planned to buy a half-million handsets for this year’s count.

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‘Hey, Buddy, You Can’t Poop There’

While shaving this morning, I heard someone outside talking to his dog: “Hey, buddy, you can’t poop there”. Yeah, like the dog understands what the guy is saying. Owners’ actions—letting a dog do its business anywhere it pleases and then cleaning up the dodo with a baggie—reinforce the animal’s poop-anywhere behavior. Dogs are responsive to humans. This owner, and the many others I see here in California, train their animals to behave a certain way: Poop anytime, anywhere they want. Outside the residence, of course. 🙂

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Wall Street Journal's Pay-more Paywall demands Too Much

Do you pay Rupert Murdoch 18 bucks a month for a Wall Street Journal iPad subscription? I dare you to confess. Today, during News Corporation’s earnings call, CEO Murdoch claims that the Journal has 64,000 active users on iPad. Presumably one of them is you.

I ask because I see the Journal as having gone too far with its paywall approach. I’m testing iPhone 3GS again, and I downloaded the WSJ app last week. I logged in with my web subscription account, and the Journal let me read for a couple days. Then came the demand for more cash. Not much, just a buck a week. But I already pay for the web subscription, for which the Journal charges about $150 a year. So Murdoch wants another 52 bucks a year for iPhone and about another $215 for iPad, which I also am testing? OK, it’s only $207 a year for iPad if taking advantage of the $3.99-a-week promotion.

A Dating Service for Apple Fans?

My thoughts on this: Apple fans can be annoying when they’re on their own. The thought of them breeding and creating little Apple fans, a whole family of hard core hipster Apple lovers, is just not a good thing. On the other hand, making sure that Apple fans only date other Apple fans is a good way of stopping them from spreading their Apple fan genes to the general population, I guess. So maybe this site isn’t all bad.
Michael Arrington