Two more stories have popped up since then that make me wonder how you can obsess this much over a company and its products. On May 29th they were all worked up over the fact the main New York City Apple store was shutting down to film a TV commercial. Lots of pointless, and some blurry, photos were posted of the event, and an obsession over what could be seen. It fits in with the general obsession though to try to figure out what new items are due for release. A bit much, but not horrible.
Boston recently got a store, and there was a lot of excitement over it in Apple circles, but this is just nutty. Did you know it has 3 water closets, but only 1 kitchen sink? It’s true, and I was just shocked as you are. 550 lighting fixtures bring you all the light to view your shiny new iPods by, and the Macs can be plugged in to any of the handy 224 electrical receptacles.
Could someone, any one, explain to me the fascination to dig this deep down into the minutia of what goes into building an Apple store? A site that is 100% devoted to the going ons of the retail outlets, even listing when teenagers are detained at a location?
I have no problem with Apple or its products. I think they are all well built, nice to look at and do their jobs efficiently. However, the rabid Apple fans almost scare me away from the products. Is there something built in to the products that make their users slowly go insane with devotion and addiction? Do they come with packets of iKoolAid that I have somehow missed?
Don’t get me wrong, I can understand being devoted to a brand. When I still drank sodas, I was a Coca-Cola only kinda guy. Pepsi did not pass my lips in years, and even though my family collected Coke memorabilia for many years, it was more out of an interest in the history. However, I don’t think you would have ever caught us going over the plans for a bottling facility to see how many light fixtures it had.
So, again, perhaps this is just lost on me, but what is the fascination? What possible devotion can inspire someone so much to want to know the count of lighting fixtures in a store? Is there a blog yet that tracks the number of times Steve Jobs goes to the bathroom in a given day? “Stave went to the restroom at 12:33 PM today, a full 3 minutes later than usual… 3 minutes… 3G iPhone… coincidence? I think not!”
I have never purchased from Ikea before, but after several mentions on collectibles sites, I decided to give their Detolf display cases a go. I’ve been needing something to display my collectible statues in, and these really seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. $60 for a four-sided glass display? How could I not try them?
Well, everything I’ve heard about Ikea products was pretty much true. They almost hit the nail on the head, but seem to miss by just a hairs width. The instructions boast you only need a phillips head screwdriver and an an enclosed hex screwdriver.
By the time we were done, we had used:
A phillips screwdriver
The enclosed hex tool
A ban saw
The ban saw may seem like overkill, but the grooves in the top and bottom pieces weren’t deep enough for the glass, so we had to run the ban saw through them to deepen them, and then used the chisel to smooth out chunks. The hammer came into play on the door parts you were supposed to be able to sink with your thumbs… I do not want to meet the person with thumbs that strong.
The topper was the 4 little foot pads. There were no pilot holes for the screws, so you had no clue where to put them. Since I was building three of these, out the window went the pads, and they are sitting flat on the floor. I also skipped the ribbon you are supposed to screw into your wall to keep it from tipping over. No thanks, I’ll just be careful.
Oh, and see the light in the top? Those are sold separately. Darn it.
I do have to say that once you assemble them, they are indeed handsome looking pieces of furniture, but I can’t believe how off the setup work was. I have no clue how an average person would assemble one of these without access to the tools I mentioned. Luckily my father was heavy into woodworking years ago, and he still has all of his tools, so I was lucky.
To top everything off, by unit #3, my father and I had figured out several steps we could do “out of order” that made far more sense. The original instructions had you placing the magnets for the door closure as almost the last thing, when they are in harder to reach areas due to the glass sides being in. On the third unit, we put the magnets in before working with the glass, and it was about ten times easier. Did Ikea just think people are not smart enough to do it this way? It seemed totally senseless to do it it their way.
Once I’m all done setting them up, I may post pictures, because they do look nice, but I sure don’t see me rushing out for anything else from Ikea any time soon.
In a recent online ad for Dunkin’ Donuts, Ms. Ray is seen wearing a scarf that some people, mainly conservative bloggers, say looks too much like a keffiyeh. Once the controversy started, the donut chain originally said they would not pull the ad, but they have now bowed to pressure, and it has been removed.
For those unfamiliar with the piece of clothing, yes, it has been adopted by the Palestinians, but the keffiyeh has a long history, and is even used by British and American troops in Iraq to help with the arid conditions. It is a utilitarian garment, as well as a symbol to some.
In the case of the one around Ms. Ray’s neck in the ad… it’s not. It’s just a normal scarf with some strings coming off of it. To me, I’m sorry, it doesn’t even really look like a keffiyeh. They tend to be more square, and larger. What is around Ms. Ray’s neck is obviously thinner, and cut as a scarf.
Of course, Michelle Malkin, the author of the previously linked blog post, thought to cut off such an argument from me after the company had already pulled the ad:
It’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists. Too many of them bend over backward in the direction of anti-American political correctness. Naturally, liberal commentators on the Internet are now up in arms over Dunkin’ Donuts’ decision to yank the ad and mock anyone who expresses concern over the keffiyeh’s symbolism.
It’s just a scarf, the clueless keffiyeh-wearers scoff. Would they say the same of fashion designers who marketed modified Klan-style hoods in Burberry plaid as the next big thing?
Of course I would be offended by “Klan-style hoods in Burberry plaid”, but, sorry, I’m not offended by a scarf that MIGHT look like a keffiyeh to some. (If anything, the tassels remind me more of a Jewish prayer shawl than a keffiyeh, but, hey, what do I know, it’s still just a scarf.) I’m fully against jihad, and I am rather blunt in my hatred of extremists, Islamic or otherwise, but I also don’t go around seeing Communists under my bed either. Oh, make no mistake, this is exactly like McCarthyism where the whole country was seeing communists everywhere they turned, now we’re just seeing Islamic jihadists under our beds… and hawking donuts.
Is this what the country is coming to? We are now going to police fashion for something that may, or may not, look like a piece of clothing terrorists wear? You know, Osama Bin Laden has been pictured many times in olive drab military garb, are we now going to say everyone wearing olive drab military garb is an Al Qaeda sympathizer? Wow… our military is going to have issues then.
Honestly, I know it’s difficult coming up with blog posts all the time, but come on, really? This was the best a bunch of them could do? “Look, it’s black and white… those Islamic jihadist-loving bastards have infiltrated our coffee!” You’ll convince me this was even remotely jihadist in nature when Rachel is sitting in a cave with a machine gun propped against the wall, until then, give it a rest, and peddle your McCarthy communist hunt somewhere else, folks.
Now… I must go claw my eyes out for actually defending Rachael Ray -shudder-
Apparently the studios in Hollywood have suddenly realized the 1980′s were twenty years ago, and it’s time to remake every movie under the sun. The latest reports I’m hearing have us seeing remakes of the 1980 version of Flash Gordon, 1984 invasion thriller Red Dawnand the original Highlander movie from 1986.
None of these films need to be remade. Flash Gordon, for being critically panned, has turned into a campy classic that would just be impossible to duplicate. Think of when they tried to make a sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Shock Treatment tried so hard to capture the vibe of RHPS, and it failed so miserably as to be painful. Camp classics just happen, they can’t be made intentionally. The recent Flash Gordon TV show was a failure when it even tried to stick somewhat closely to the source material, why does anyone think this will work better now?
Red Dawn I think is going to be even harder to pull off than Flash Gordon. For its silly premise, the movie was actually an engaging story, perfectly suited to the then political climate of the Reagan era White House, the turmoils in eastern Europe and people’s raging cold war fears. Unless the plot is changed to represent the Chinese as the invading force, this film doesn’t have a chance in hell of working in this day and age. Plus, a change to the Chinese is just asking for trouble in my opinion. We don’t have the same situation with them that we had with the Soviets, why invite trouble by making a movie that plays in to fears that so few share this time around?
As for Highlander… -sigh-. I enjoyed the TV series because it built on what the original film had presented to us, but it did not interfere with the original work at all. This is possibly one of the greatest sci-fi films of that time period, and it just doesn’t need to be messed with. True, the sequels have sucked, and that should tell everyone that there was something unique to the original work, but oh no, let Hollywood go mucking around with everything again. The original work was sublime, understated and about as close to perfection as you could get with such a story… just leave it alone out of respect.
Hollywood obviously has problems, and I’m not sure they know what to do about it. There seems to be no fresh ideas, just remakes and sequels, all of declining quality, that are slowly making people wonder why they are even going to the movies anymore.
Remakes are out of control. Unless you have something startling to bring to the work, say like the current Battlestar Galactica TV series as opposed to the original, than just leave it all alone. All you are doing is sullying good memories for some and embarrassing yourself in the end with your failed project.
Not only are we facing these remakes, but now they are also adding in sequels that just don’t need to be made. Terminator Salvation (or whatever the silly name ends up being) continues the Terminator series which has been “ended” multiple times, and already has a new continuity running with a television series Way to confuse the consumers! In the category of “there is no way this needs a sequel because most people probably forgot the original”, Point Break II is being prepped. Does the original Point Break really need a follow-up story? Heck, for that matter, did we really need another Indiana Jones? No, we didn’t, and we certainly do not need a follow up to a surfing cops-and-robbers movie.
The movie industry is devoid of any original ideas any more it would seem, and when they do happen on one, they are only concerned with making it into a series of sequels. I am fully aware that the movie industry needs to make money like any other business, but what about not strip mining what was not only good from the past, but what is completely pointless to continue. At the end of the day, it’s not only the movie going public suffers, but the filmmakers who could still be making decent films, but instead they are forced into questionable projects because there is simply nothing else getting the green light from the studios.
Can they be saved? One would certainly hope so, but the first thing I would recommend they get rid of this seeming “remake” addiction they’ve acquired, and then move on the undying love of sequels. Not everything needs a second attempt, or a second installment. Make your money and move on to something new and, hopefully, orginal.
I have not been to the movies since last July, when I had the misfortune of seeing Transformers, and I was unaware that my local theater had now added television commercials before the movie previews. After I was treated to numerous ads for cell phones and cookies, I then got your traditional trailers, and finally the film itself after those. True, the lights in the house dimmed at the advertised starting time of 1:15, I however did not see any actual film footage until 1:34, a full 19 minutes later than the start time.
I know many people have tackled this subject, but now it’s my turn, and I’m angry as spit about this. I know one has to show up early to get a good seat, but as far as I am concerned, that does not mean I can have 19 minutes of my life stolen for advertising. You want to run those TV commercials? Fine, do it before the start time, because running them after is stealing time from me that I did not agree to.
As I said, I expect previews, fine, I don’t always thrill to them, but I’m used to them. Adding ten television commercials on top of that is just cheap in my opinion. I don’t want to come off as some egoist, but I’m sorry, my time is too valuable for this sort of thing. It will definitely factor into my decisions to see more movies. Take the upcoming Sex and the City movie. I’m interested in seeing it, and I’ve heard the running time on it is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Am I to now expected to add 19 minutes on top of that, putting me at 2:34, plus time to drive there, park, buy a ticket, buy a drink… I am not up to close to 3 hours. It’s difficult enough for me to find time see a movie in the theater, let alone watching a bunch of commercials on top of the actual runtime.
In short? Stop it. It’s not fair, nor is it right, for you to force commercials down our throats. I understand theaters have to make money where they can, but it’s not going to be on my time that I did not agree you could take if I can help it. I mean, I could always show up 10 minutes later if I’m willing to get a worse seat, skip the drink and make you less money, so, your call.
After much personal debate, I made it out to the theater to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The debate was based on the fact I loved the first three movies, and I really didn’t want to see a stinker of a film taint my love of the series as a whole. I finally knew if I didn’t go, I would regret it down the line, so I headed out on Memorial Day to take it in,
In short: it could have been a lot better, but it wasn’t horrible.
(Spoilers intermixed from here on out) It’s 1957 and we learn Dr. Jones had fought in World War II, been a spy, earned the rank of Colonel, won multiple medals and somehow been involved in the 1947 clean-up of the Roswell, NM UFO crash site. He’s been a busy boy.
As the movie opens, we’re at Area 51 (though you don’t know for this a bit) and Russians have kidnapped Indy and a friend of his to locate a container Indy had helped with at the crash site. Normal Indiana Jones craziness takes off from there, leading to a nice cameo shot of something every fan of the series will instantly recognize,
It’s difficult to review this movie without going through it blow-by-blow, which would take forever, but I think this movie suffered greatly from the addition of too much CGI and a loss of the idea of what made the previous three films so great.
While Indiana Jones has always had his insane stunts (under the truck comes to mind from Raiders of the Lost Ark), they were always at least slightly believable, and just over-the-top-enough to be believable. The stunts here just go too far, or seem totally disconnected from the narrative.
Take the “Doom Town” sequence for instance. The scene of Indiana getting trapped in one of the towns the United States built to test nukes on has circulated for years now, passing through who knows how many script revisions. While it was entertaining, it was pointless, and the idea that Indy could survive being thrown several miles inside of a refrigerator was ludicrous to the extreme. Near as I could figure, the point of the scene, when he turns to stare at the cloud, was supposed to be some sort of commentary on the “brave, new world” Indy now inhabits, as opposed to the 1930′s world we had previously seen him in.
However, this whole sequence just felt “wrong” somehow. Yes, it led to him being questioned by the FBI, but couldn’t that have been handled by him simply being picked up by some military guards after the jet car test? It felt tacked on, out of place and ludicrous in the extreme.
The second scene that made me hold my head in my hands, literally, was the Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), Jungle Boy sequence. The vine swinging with the monkeys was just… silly. All we were missing was him calling out the quintessential Tarzan yell, and the whole sequence would have been one for the record books as just plain silly.
The third thing, and I promise it is the last I will go into grand details on, that was the “aliens” being some sort of “inter-dimensional species”. What was the point to this? They couldn’t have just been extra terrestrials? They had to be “inter-dimensional”, and not only do we hear about this from Professor Oxley (John Hurt) once, but twice. How did he know the difference? Why did he know the difference? (I assume the skull told him from their psychic link, but it doesn’t make it any less pointless)
Alas, there was more that seemed pointless, but I won’t bore you with anything more than bullet points:
Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) was psychic. She told us so. Guess we never needed to see proof of this since she only tried it once on Indy and failed.
How did Indy get his job back at the university? He’s laid off for presumed Communist activity in a rather lengthy explanation, but at the end of the movie, not only is he back, but he’s now an associate dean.
In the jungle chase, we start off with the big machine clearing them a road. Once it gets destroyed, they sure seemed to have plenty of road without it, didn’t they?
You needed the skull to open the door to the chamber where the crystal skeletons were, so how did the Conquistadors open the door in the 15th or 16th century to steal the one skull?
Why did the return of the skull make the aliens leave? The skeletons had been complete for thousands of years, one skull gets stolen for a few hundred years, it returns, they’re ready to leave?
Then there was one thing about the entire arc of the story that just annoyed the heck out of me. What happened to Indy? This wasn’t the same Indiana Jones as the previous films, and I don’t feel it was an age aspect, it was the idea that he was merely following the clues Oxley had left, and not doing any true “archeology” of his own. When Indy and Mutt enter the tomb of the Conquistadors, Mutt mentions the two sets of foot prints in the dust, and that he thinks it means one person has been here twice, to which Indy agrees. I don’t know how to explain it, but this actually made me a bit sad.
In the first three films, Indy was the ground breaker. Think about when he entered the Well of Souls in the first movie as an example. He was the first person to enter that chamber in thousands of years, and he found it through his own trials, he had earned this moment through sweat and hard work. In the fourth film, he’s following a paint-by-numbers quest someone had laid out for him. It was almost like he was playing a video game, I kept expecting messages to pop-up on screen: “Congratulations! You located the Crystal Skull and unlocked stage 3!” Oxley had already found the skull, been to the city, gotten past the native Indians, touched the obelisk, and he was the one who figured out how to activate the gate. It was like Indy was just along for the ride, and that really disappointed me.
The thing is, even with all of these quibbles, it was still fun to watch. The motorcycle chase, minus the silliness in the library, was vintage Indy. The warehouse chase was a good time since it was such a confined area. The jungle chase was good, also minus some silliness. There was just an overwhelming sense I was watching a very watered down version of Indiana Jones, an “Indiana Jones Lite” if you will.
There have been rumors of a fifth film already with a higher focus on Mutt, and Indiana playing more of the Sean Connery role from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the father trying to impart wisdom to his son feeling. My hope is this will not come to be, but considering the box office receipts for this film already, we might as well start expecting it.
According to ImportGenius that started this whole conspiracy theory, they have uncovered some mysterious cargo containers destined for Steve Jobs. Instead of the usual decelerations of “desktop computers” or the such on the forms, these are labeled as â€œelectric computers”, and since this has never been seen before, they must be the rumored 3G iPhones. They then go into great detail about where the containers are going, how many of each, etc.
Here’s the thing, everyone knows a new iPhone is coming, it’s almost a given seeing as reports are coming from all over that inventories are depleted at Apple stores all across the country. This is a typical move by Apple when they are about to update a product, and it’s a sensible one to let the old models disappear. We also know that firmware.0 is due out in June, and that Steve Jobs is addressing his annual developers conference on June 9th.
So, all the pieces are in place through the normal channels for the update to happen, and that makes it fairly safe for someone unknown to make a prediction. The site is not one I’ve ever heard of, which doesn’t mean that much, but what an interesting way to bring attention to yourself, and get site that probably would never mention you otherwise to talk about you. (yes… including me)
Beyond this cargo container conspiracy, and the general suspicions and rumblings, I would like to remind everyone of something… are you ready for the truth I’m about to lay on you?… have you sent the youngins’ out of the room so they will not be exposed to this reality-bending truth?… the iPhone is… wait for it… a phone.
Stop it! Don’t jump! It’s not worth it!
Yes, it is true that the iPhone does do more than your standard phone, and it is quite cool, but the craziness over an upgrade is just a bit much. I am sure the new version will do more than the old version (and congrats to those of you in a two year contract since it has only been a year since the first iPhone), but is it something going to stop being a device to make and receive calls? Again, yes, I know what all it does, but the absolute fervor over a gadget is just amazing me. You have to give Mr. Jobs huge kudos for getting people this excited over… a phone.
I have another bit of news for all of you, speaking as a long time iPod user… guess what, he’ll update it again next year… and the year after that… and the year after that… so you best get used to this.
You know, I was just thinking, “Hey, self, you know that border guards have way too much free time on their hands! They need something to do that will impossibly clog up people crossing the border into some countries in anything even remotely resembling a reasonable time!”
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been revealed to be a secret proposal that is being worked on by the G8 nations that would empower border guards of the member nations to search through the contents of electronic devices such as iPods, laptops, phones and more for any material that infringes on copyrights. This includes, but is not limited to, files you have ripped from physical media you already own such as CDs and DVDs. If any infringing material is found, you can be fined, have your device seized and even possibly destroyed.
Apparently ACTA was originally thought of for going after large scale piracy, but at some point the whole proposal has gotten drilled down to individual users True, the total final document as not yet been revealed, and it is hard to believe it would stand up in court as the searches are reported to done without benefit of having a lawyer present, but this just screams an endless headache to me.
As if going through customs wasn’t already a big enough of a pain, now they can slow the process down even more as you explain where every file on your iPod came from. Am I now to travel with receipts for every file? Add in the point that they say this will even cover music you ripped from your own CD collection (remember boys & girls, we’ve been told that is stealing), and essentially every iPod crossing the border will have some form of “copyright infringing” file on it.
Is it just me, or do you think border guards have about 5,000 more important things to concern themselves with than someone with a couple of Beatles songs on their iPod they took off their own CDs? Yes… I’m looking at you, President Bush! This proposal would also require Internet service providers (ISPs) to turn over all private information about an individual with no more cause than suspicion of copyright violation.
Essentially, ACTA will turn us even more into a big brother state than ever with people digging through your cyber-life, even on your non-connected gadgets, all in the name of “copyright protection”. I’m sorry, but I have a news flash for everyone: copyrights don’t matter THIS much. I’m all for protecting copyrights, but there comes a point where it is just not worth it to protect some large corporations “intellectual properties” by inconveniencing everyone and their brother at security, treating everyone with an iPod as a potential criminal and then confiscating their devices. Simple solution though, I will simply never travel with my iPod because I simply do not want the hassle of explaining 120+ gigs of music to someone. That many hours of my life is not worth listening to The Ramones on the plane.
What else bothers me about this whole thing is that it was being worked on in secret. It wasn’t until some folks in Canada got wind of it and filed demands for information that it even came to light. Gee, why are you hiding such materials? Because you know it’s ignorant and the general public would never approve it? As the National Post points out, this would be a federal trade agreement, and as such does not require any sort of public ratification to be enacted.
If all goes according to plan, this proposal will be discussed in July when the G8 meets in Japan. We can only hope someone with a brain finally says, “wait a tick…”
I have spoken before about some of the… “stimulating”… conversations I have while playing games like Call of Duty 4 online, but now it is becoming a regular occurrence for me to be slammed on for being 36. In the past it has been insults of everyone being “gay”, or “you suck” or just general stupidity, but as gamers are trending to be older (the average age of video game players is now 34), the teens are getting more insulting about people in my age range being “losers” for still playing video games. As I so kindly tell them, if it wasn’t for people like me having played video games since they came around in the 1980′s, they wouldn’t have their games today, so… stuff it. (I have no patience for these kids… I’m sure you all are shocked since I’m normally Mr. Cuddly) This is usually all followed up with I have no life… I must be on welfare (… how did I afford the game…)… aendlessly with the same insults over-and-over.
I have to wonder where this animosity is coming from. What possible difference does it make to some kid if I’m 16 or 36, so long as I’m doing my “job” in the game, what does it really matter? It doesn’t, but I think it speaks to a common distrust of “older” people I see creeping back into the social consciousness. Ever heard the saying from the 1960′s of “Don’t trust anyone over 30″? Well, from what I see, it’s happening again, but this time I think it’s for very different reasons… just plain snottiness.
At least when this saying popped up originally, we were engaged in a highly questionable war, with a country still reeling from an assassination that no one understood. True, we are engaged in another questionable war, but somehow, I don’t think these kids are even remotely aware of it. These are “the mellinials” and their only concern is themselves. You thought Generation X, my generation, was bad? We have nothing on this group.
Honestly, their actual words don’t phase me in the least, but the general attitude is disturbing. I’m not sure where it came from, what causes it or if there is even any way to stop it. Hopefully it will disappear with time, and for now it is just generally annoying, lets just hope it doesn’t get any worse.
Somehow I doubt this will be the last time I touch on the “old people suck” attitude I’m encountering more and more.
I’ve waited 30 years for a better Millennium Falcon toy. The picture to the right shows what’ I’ve been waiting for.
See, the one they released in 1978 was “okay”, but it always seemed lacking. It was stubby looking, the guns on top didn’t sit right, it had no bottom guns… that really bothered me for some reason… but I still loved it, and played with it loads. Now it seems I am finally getting the Millennium Falcon of my dreams! So what if it comes out six days after I turn 37, I still want it! (info from Hasbro)
Light-up headlights and loads of electronic vehicle and weapon sounds â€“ engine boost, cruise mode, fly-by, firing cannons, and more
Opening, light-up cockpit can fit up to 4 figures. Vehicle includes Han Solo and Chewbacca and can hold up to 18 figures
Remove outer panels to access the shipâ€™s interior, then head for the medical bay to treat wounded Rebels
Secret smuggling compartments to hide from stormtroopers
Boarding ramp with auto-opening action, deployment sounds and landing lights
Pivoting gunner station to target Imperial fighters
Light-up hyperdrive lights and authentic movie phrases and sounds from favorite characters: Han, Luke, Obi-Wan, C-3PO, Chewbacca and R2-D2
Rotating laser turret fires 2 missiles and makes weapon sounds; ship also features a 3-missile launcher with blasting sounds, and a cannon that launches a â€œlaserâ€ missile
Missile-firing mini-fighter fits inside an opening docking bay that makes electronic boarding and flight sounds
Pivoting training probe makes lightsaber and movement sounds â€“ learn the power of the Force
Illuminated dejarik table with holographic creatures â€“ let the Wookiee win
Okay, fine, I’m just a big kid, I don’t care! It’s 2 & 1/2 feet long, will retail for $150… I have to save up for it and figure out where the heck I am putting a toy that big, I’m open to suggestions!
… but I must have this. Again, I DON’T CARE THAT I WILL BE 37 BY THEN! What’s life without some fun?
I did make myself a promise awhile back that I would stop buying toys, but… then those really cool G.I. Joe toys came out… and there’s been a few other Star Wars toys… and a couple Transformers… -sigh- I can’t help it, I still love toys. I worked in the toy industry for too long not to love them, and I appreciate them for their art and the skill it takes to make them beyond just being collectibles or items for kids to play with. I understand the work that goes into them from befriending so many toy sculptors over the years, and it’s not something you just whip out, they take a year or more of development before they hit the shelves, so I can really appreciate the beauty in them sometimes as art.
Course, that also doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them as a toy, a tool for fueling fantasies. Sure, kids should be able to develop their own imagination, how else would we ever get fresh ideas, but it is also nice to sometimes to have a toy from something you already love, and play in that persons imaginary sandbox sometimes.
By the way… Hasbro has also confirmed the new version has bottom guns…
Melissa Gira Grant of Valleywag, the gossip rag of the Web 2.0 crowd, wrote this story up yesterday, and I am just blown away by it. It seems that in the United Kingdom, there is a proposal for a new law that would require websites to check member’s email address against a list of addresses registered of those used by known sexual offenders. Now, mind you, this is not law yet, but just a proposal, but Faceparty felt they should go ahead and comply.
This caused a problem for the social network because they have never verified the email addresses used bu their members were legitimate, so they had to come up with another plan of action. What did they decide was the easiest course of action? Why to delete all members over the age of 36 of course!
Yes! Why didn’t I see this before? You can identify all sexual predators by their age! There has never been a sexual crime committed by say a college-aged person, or someone in their 20′s, it is only those people over 36 that do this. A quote from the company tries to clarify their move:
“We understand that only a minority of older users are sex offenders, but you must understand that we cannot tell which”
Of course there is no way to tell which is which because this is a completely arbitrary decision with no real basis.
So, honestly I was willing to ignore this, contrary to popular belief, I do actually get tired of always being pissed off, but then I went and visited their site. Towards the bottom of their page, I found a link labeled “Adult Verification“, so I of course had to follow it, and I find a page all about protecting children… while using sexually suggestive models and telling you how if you sign up for this pay service, £8.95 a month, they’ll give you access to all the adult photos and unmoderated pictures that users just posted!
Does anyone see some conflicting principles at play here? On the one hand, they want to “protect the children”, but on the other hand they are willing to sell you the ability to see adult material if you are over the age of 18. I have never seen any other social network do such a thing, and I have to say the whole things reeks of bad decisions or ageism to me, but the company cut that off also:
“Despite malicious rumours spread by a few people on the website, it is not true that we have deleted members due to ‘ageism’”
Then explain the willingness to have such conflicting policies. Explain how you came up with the age of “36″ being the magical number to determine who may or may not be a sex offender. Why not 25? Why not 30?
Yes, I must admit I’m 36, but, no, I have never had a Faceparty account, but I do belong to numerous other social networks, so I do have a dog in this fight, and all I can hope that this is an isolated, ignorant, decision, and not a sign of things to come.
Is there good reason for people over 36 to be on networks? I think so. I’ve been able to reconnect with many people I lost contact with over the years, I can stay in easy contact with other friends I have spread all over the planet, and I know some people in that age range who are on networks so they can monitor what their kids are doing.
As I have said before when it comes to policing social networks for sexual predators, where are the parents in all of this? If people would realize that if parents were more involved with their kids, setting limitations on what they can do with the computer, and how, you wouldn’t have to worry about social networks doing it for you.
I’m not sure that this is what this particular case is about though. In my purely cynical opinion, based strictly on my random speculation, and I would be interested to see how many people over the age of 36 signed up for their age verification service. I would hate to suggest this was some bizarre way to cut some bandwidth expenses, but you kind of have to wonder if there wasn’t some possibility that this was a way to cut some of their least profitable customers.
I’m all for protecting children, but I certainly think there are more tasteful ways of doing it.
The premise is simple in that you can have cookies delivered until late at night (general cut-off is 12:00 AM to 2:30 AM, depending on location), satisfying those late night cravings. Healthy? No. Delicious and comforting? Probably.
It started off as one guy in his dorm room in Pennsylvania (probably near the ocean…) and he would bake and deliver the cookies around the campus himself. After five years in business, he has now expanded to twelve university campuses, including the recently opened New York University store. The difference for the NYU location is that they also cover part of the city itself, greatly expanding their customer base, and they plan to open more stores around the city to cover more of the metropolis.
I know I don’t normally cover this sort of thing, but the concept intrigued me. Back when I had my retail comic shop, we were located four blocks from Truman State University, so of course we had heavy patronage from there. For about a year or so, we had an Akita that hung out at the store because his owner, a customer of ours, had no air conditioning in his apartment, so we let the dog stay with us while he went to class so it would be cool. Othello loved everyone, and never caused a problem, and our customers said many times they liked him being there because it made them feel more comfortable, like they were at home.
This is what Insomnia Cookies reminds me of. Going off to school, or moving to a city like New York City, can make you feel isolated, and makes you miss the comforts of home. What is more comforting than freshly baked cookies? Cookies you buy in the store are just… blech, but a freshly baked one with milk (which they will also deliver) is a little slice of Heaven.
I’m kind of glad we don’t have one of these in my town because I’m trying to lose weight, but it would certainly be tempting some nights to have someone bring me cookies. Kudos to them for such an excellent idea.