Archive for February, 2007

When is Everything Free?

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

TechCrunch is reporting that AllFreeCalls.net, has been shut down at least temporarily. AllFreeCalls is a service that takes advantage of a bizarre loophole in the telephony laws that provides a kickback to local telecos for routing long distance calls through their circuits. Currently, Iowa is the only state that allows local carriers to take advantage of such a law. AllFreeCalls has been in operation since mid-January, and it looks like they met get buried in enough lawsuits to put them out of business, but their very existence raises what I think is an interesting question about how we look at internet services.

It’s well known that the Sean Fanning-era Napster was not the first or the last way to get music for free online, but its popularity was so great that it triggered a behavioral shift in the music industry that was further legitimized by the launch of iTunes a few years later. YouTube did the same for video that Scour Exchange and its predecessors started. With services like Skype and AllFreeCalls out there, I wonder if we’ll reach a point where we expect all calls to be free as well.

Drink Liquor, Capture Shark

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

CANBERRA - A fisherman fueled by vodka caught a 4-foot shark and wrestled it onto a jetty on Australia’s south coast, suffering only small tear marks in his trousers, media reports said on Friday. …

“It’s not something I’d recommend to do,” he said. “When I sobered up I thought about it and I said, ‘I’m a bit of an idiot doing it’.”

Link (Reuters via MSNBC)

Can Kevin Mitchell Come, Too?

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

I’d like to have 1989 Will Clark walking around with me everywhere I went to give me advice and drive in the runner from second. I’d walk around the streets in normal clothes, but Will would always be in his uniform with his spikes and eye black on. He seems like he would give good advice.

Catfighting Season Begins Today

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

The Barney’s warehouse sale begins today. If you’ve never been before, I will paint the picture for you.

For men, it’s a nice way to get shirts at half price and maybe even find a suit at a nice discount.

For women, it’s sort of like a convention of local militias agreeing to meet on neutral ground, then breaking out into an elbow-nudging turf war to gain control of the Manolos. It’s like regular war, only with five inch heels and black instead of camo. Because black is the new black.

Bless.

Baby Likes It Cheap

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Last night I went to a Valentine’s Day Chocolate Appreciation class at the Institute of Culinary Education on West 23rd St. It was taught by a culinary historian and chocolate expert who was a lot of fun. I learned that chocolate was refined first for consumption in beverages as a female-friendly beverage. The coffee and tea that dominated Europe in the 19th century, it was thought, were too harsh for the genteel female. I believe that drinkable chocolate’s rise in popularity was also involved in the creation of the modern tea kettle, but I might have gotten mixed up by that point. There were a lot of slides.

I also learned that in the early 1900’s as doctors began to understand a bit about nutrition, it was thought that all calories were created equal and that one calorie of chocolate was akin to one calorie of a fruit or vegetable. This led Hershey’s to promote chocolate, with its high caloric content, as “a meal in itself.” Men also wore bowler hats during that era, but I did not learn about bowler hats last night.

Then I ate about an entire box of chocolates. Mostly we were served dark chocolates, presented on attractive plates and paired with dessert wines that tasted like a cross between vinegar and ass. Dark chocolate is considered the more sophisticated cocoa product, so I guess it’s no surprise that I didn’t really enjoy it. Milk chocolate, the cheapo stuff that I grew up on (give me a bag of M&M’s and I’m happy), is considered less “pure” and far less impressive among the chocophile set. My professor described most of these chocolates as “the type of thing that if it were a person you met at a party, you’d say that person is ‘nice,’ but someone I want to take home with me.” Jacques Torres, home of perhaps the best chocolate I’ve ever had in my life, was also roundly dissed.

Promiscuity or intentions of my professor notwithstanding, my girlfriend and I both preferred the sweeter milk chocolate that “tastes like crappy kids’ stuff,” as one of the chocolate snobs in my class said. Regardless of our lack of sophistication in the chocolate world, it was a great time and I learned a lot about chocolate. And now that I’ve discovered the relative cheapness of my palette’s sweet tooth, I’m not eating any chocolate for a month. Or at least a few hours.

Movie Quote. Ha! Another Movie Quote!

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Apparently Larry King’s quotes have been used to promote so many movies that this has merited its own feature piece in the LA Times. Calling him “King Blurb,” the Times pokes at the old man’s seeming love of just about everything, from You, Me & Dupree to De-Lovely to “a film about Turkish genocide called “Screamers” (”Very well done!”).”

There’s a particularly entertaining piece on King’s perceived adoration of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which he called “Finally, a Movie Worth Seeing Over and Over!” When asked for comment, King replied “I told the CNN person to tell the studio, ‘I didn’t understand the damn movie at all. I’d have to see it over and over again to figure out what happened.’ And then they went and used it!”

King of the Blurbs (LA Times via Salon)

Better than anything he ever said to Winnie Cooper

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

The Wizard
I believe that everyone should have a favorite Fred Savage line. Mine is “you said no new games!” from The Wizard.

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

My favorite Van Peebles is Martin.

Anyone out there seen 1998?

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Considering how much media content I take in from external sources daily, I decided to start a new blog a few weeks ago. I never thought it would be such a pain to get going. It’s been at least 5 years since I’ve written anything more than the most basic of code, but this would have taken me 3 hours when I was 16. It took two weeks, and I’m not even working off an original design. At least I can work off of this now.

While the spirit of this blog is to write about things that I’ve learned, here’s a list of things that I used to know and at which I’m now more or less a complete incompetent:

Rollerblading. I played inline hockey for six years, then I grew six inches and can now barely stand on skates. If I went to a rink, I’d probably look like Clyde Drexler in Pros vs. Joes.

Drinking 48 ounces of a cold beverage in less than 3 minutes. Actually, I don’t think I could ever do this.

Watching the Knicks. Also “Rooting for the Knicks.”

I still love Becky’s

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Went to Becky’s w/AJ tonight and had a blast. Highlights include beating Arielle at darts, a cameo by SRosen, and Amber the waitress buying me a shot of Jager.

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