Thursday, January 31, 2008

Spitting Image? – January 31, 2008

Daniel Edwards, a renown sculpture known for his interesting take on pop culture, is now one of my favorite artists. I’m not sure how he flew under my coolness/oddity radar, but he did. However, now that I familiarized myself with some of his sculptures I now recall several pieces, such as the Suri Cruise poop and the deceased Prince Henry.

My favorite, however, might just be the Britney Spears giving birth. Yuck, but the bear rug is a pretty sweet touch.


You might also want to check out the dead Paris Hilton (FYI it has an open abdominal cavity with removable life-size organs and twin fetuses, which visitors to the exhibition may hold if they wear special gloves), a lingerie wearing Hilary Clinton, or the deathbed portrait of Fidel Castro.

MGMT at Bottom of the Hill - January 31, 2008

One of my favorite new bands, MGMT, played at the Bottom of the Hill this past Monday. Despite having made a whirlwind coast to coast party weekend and running on 5 or so hours of sleep total, I still made it out. Yeasayer opened up for them, which was pretty awesome and full of energy. MGMT, however, looked fairly sedated, even more so than I. The good news is that MGMT has a great live sound very similar to their recordings, which is always a plus.

I'm not sure I'd go back to see one of their shows, but I would for Yeasayer. Oddly enough, as Sosia and I stumbled out of the show we ran into the guitarist, Anand Wilder, outside where I talked shit about MGMT and how they should be opening up for them instead of vice versa. He laughed, and then answered his cell phone and walked away. Damn, thanks for the goodbye Anand.

Anyways, here's a low quality video I took at the concert of MGMT.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Need Answers Dammit! – January 30, 2008

I found this new mobile service called Mosio. In a nutshell, it’s a platform that allows you to ask questions via text message, and get “people powered” information back via text message from the Mosio community.

It’s a brilliant idea, because you get instant personalized recommendations by users of Mosio. Those users are probably cool because either you invited some of them, or they are technonerds like you*.

The real benefit is that instead of using Yelp or something else to get a recommendation on where to take a friend for a drink, you can blast a text message to Mosio, and someone will answer you based on your specific criteria (e.g. location/mood/etc). Also, as a Mosio user, you have the option to answer questions via a messenger service (AIM, GoogleTalk, etc) or on the Mosio website known as the “Questionairium”.

Here’s how Mosio describes it;

  • You invite people to your Qniverse (question universe)
  • When you're mobile and they're online, they help answer your questions.
  • When you're online and they're mobile, you help answer theirs.

To test it out, I tried asking “What is the best dive bar in San Francisco?”

This is what I got in return (as posted on the Questionairium):

They offer some other peripheral services/apps such as find places, get reminders, get a message from Chuck Norris, get taxi phone numbers, and get content from 3rd party places (e..g The Onion) sent to your phone.

Mosio also partnered up with Twitter (yucka mucka) so you can ask questions that way too. Apparently you can also use Jott to ask questions verbally, if you’re that lazy.

Overall, I’m pleased with the service, however, I’m, unsure if this is scalable. Mosio relies on the community to answer questions, and if the community becomes overwhelmed by questions it may no longer remain relevant. Also, Mosio has to figure out how to ensure that your questions are only thrown out to people inside your community/local, and I’m not sure how they are going to promise this.

* I tried to verify the “coolness” of the community by asking if people in SF had done the No Pants 2K8 mission, and the response was either “yes” or “I wish I had known about it”. In addition to this, I think that the bars that were recommended to me were an indication that the community knows what it’s talking about.


Munchies? – January 30, 2008

In the evil world of airline transportation, there lies a company that actually cares about its customers, JetBlue. I know I’ve blogged about JetBlue before, but I wanted to share something I noticed about JetBlue from a recent flight back from NYC.

JetBlue has an all you can eat snack buffet. This is incredible, and in fact, I hypothesize that it actually creates a different mental mindset amongst the passengers. They are happy and content, and know that if their stomach begins to rumble that some food is always at hand. Sure the food may be unhealthy, but it’s better than nothing when you’re 30,000 feet up in the air. Right?

Secondly, the pilot always greets the passengers before the plane takes off. I think it’s a great courtesy and a throw-back to the times where traveling was just as much about the journey as it was the destination. I feel safer knowing my pilot is a coherent, civilized individual, and not some crazy buffoon holding the reigns to a $30 million airplane.

…unfortunately, JetBlue might lose me to Virgin America, but we’ll see. How can you beat mood lighting, WiFi, seat to seat messaging, a "mini-bar', and entertainment on demand?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Doppelganger - January 29, 2008

A doppelganger or fetch is the ghostly double of a living person, a sinister form of bilocation.

In the vernacular, "Doppelgänger" has come to refer to any double or look-alike of a person—most commonly an "evil twin". The literal translation of the German word is "doublewalker", meaning someone who is acting (e.g. walking) the same way as another person. The word is also used to describe the sensation of having glimpsed oneself in peripheral vision, in a position where there is no chance that it could have been a reflection. They are generally regarded as harbingers of bad luck. In some traditions, a doppelgänger seen by a person's friends or relatives portends illness or danger, while seeing one's own doppelgänger is an omen of death. In Norse mythology, a vardoger is a ghostly double who precedes a living person and is seen performing their actions in advance.

Friday, January 25, 2008

MizzPee, The Most Worthless Mobile App Ever - January 25, 2008

This is probably the dumbest idea that anyone has come up with. Why in the world would I ever need to use my mobile phone to find a bathroom? I tested their results, and found that the bathrooms they recommended weren't anywhere near where I was. Regardless, MizPee is probably the funniest name ever.

Warning, This is a Raw Food – January 25, 2008

I just ingested Kombucha, and I’m not sure why, as I have a red-eye flight to New York tonight.

I learned about Kombucha a month or so ago when I was walking through the store with Sosia, where it was described to me as some sort of drink with living bacteria inside of it. As a human being who knows the torment of an upset stomach, I immediately turned away in disgust. In reality, Kombucha is a handmade tea that is fermented for a given period of time.

Fast forward 34 days. I’m standing patiently in front of a deli’s cooler, which is literally holding hundreds of various drinks. For some reason I notice 10-15 different types of bottles that proudly display “Kombucha” on their label, and I become strangely drawn to them. Two minutes later, I leave the deli with a bottle of Kombucha and an apple fritter.

I drank the Kombucha, which was citrus flavored, and I feel ok…so far. It tasted very bubbly and acidic, but not terribly unpleasant. I managed to get over the fact that “cultures” were floating around in my drink and finding their way down my gullet and into my stomach.

Supposedly, I’m going to feel “good”. We’ll see about that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Don’t Fu$& With Us – January 24, 2008

Every year, thousands of products are rained upon Americans. Some suck, some kick ass, and others are just kind of mediocre. I want to call out one product in particular, the Kinoki footpad (see the commercial here).

This product supposedly uses ancient Japanese reflexology to remove harmful toxins such as heavy metals and cellulite from your body via a foot patch one wears at night. Obviously anyone who has a brain would not buy a product that claimed something as ridiculous as this, but fortunately for Kinoki, most of America does not have a brain.


However, bloggers around the U.S. have been ridiculing the product, and calling out the lack of empirical evidence concerning the product’s effectiveness. I think this is a great example of the incredible power of social media. Not only did individual blogs write about the bogus-ness of the Kinoki footpad, but big media picked it up as well, and so did Wiki media.

Caveat Emptor no more. Companies that try to push products by relying on falsities and invented information don’t have a chance of surviving.

A small sampling of the other blog posts concerning Kinoko:

http://fitsugar.com/954063?r=headline
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/01/the-biggest-inf.html
http://pigmystrong.com/?p=184
http://www.youaredumb.net/node/986
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Do_Kinoki_detox_foot_pads_work

Internet Party - January 24, 2008

I had to share, as this is an incredible play on the many 2.0 internet brands out there, as well as some 1.0 brands that managed to survive the crash.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To Stream Video or Not to Stream - January 23, 2008

Have a Nokia? Feel like streaming mobile video to the world? Check out Qik. It allows you to stream video from your cell phone straight to the web. I'm assuming they are trying to open up this technology as fast as possible for other phones, but we'll see.

It's a great idea, as you could apply the technology for all sorts of helpful uses.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ruined Music – January 22, 2008

Everyone who is a regular here knows I love music. Unfortunately, some of my favorite artists have taken the precarious leap into the world of commercialism. Obviously, most people don’t play music for themselves, they want it to be heard. Even I have had illusions of rocking out to a stadium packed crowd.

Anyways, the point is that a lot of artists get big via one song that gets broadcasted in some way, shape, or form. Many of those forms (e.g. radio) are respectable, but I am truly annoyed by bands who sell out for a commercial, especially when it has absolutely nothing to do with the product. Here is a list of some artists who sacrificed their creativity to reach the populous.

To learn about more music in TV commercials, check out AdTunes.

Dirty Vegas “Days Go By” – Mitsubishi Eclipse









Band of Horses “Funeral” – Ford Edge








Of Montreal “Let’s Go Outback” (original made for Outback) – Outback Steakhouse








Royksopp “Remind Me” – Geico








* The Postal Service “Such Great Heights” – UPS








Digitalism “Pogo“ – Pontiac G6










** Feist “1 2 3 4” – Apple iPod Nano









Midwest Product Swamp – Hummer H3








* This is really the only relevant song for the UPS brand, as The Postal Service was founded by Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello who sent one another music via postal and created songs by editing tapes and sending them back and forth


** I guess this is inherently a good move for Feist, given iPod is all about music

Bristle Bot - January 22, 2008

I want one!!!!



But can I have it in the Snail version?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ego Surfing - January 21, 2007

In case you are unfamiliar with this term, let me define it for you:

Ego Surfing (v) - the act of utilizing an online search technology to map your existence/how many times your name appears on the Internet

Besides "Googling" yourself all day and night, here are two sites that can help you stroke that ego. Click on the image to be taken to that site:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Likemind Tomorrow - January 17, 2008

It's that time again!!! Come for a conversation about anything and everything, but expect a focus on advertising/technology. It's Likemind!

likemind.sf

where: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, 773 Market Street (b/w 3rd and 4th), San Francisco, CA

when: friday, january 18 at 8:30am (PST)

hosts: mark and tad

The Beauty of Free Wireless – January 17, 2008

I got my Meraki repeater in the mail yesterday!!! The excitement that reverberated through my body was similar to that of when I was seven years old and finally got the x-ray vision glasses in the mail. I had hot blood running through my veins and a euphoric nonsensical giddiness, which made me jump about.

I tore open the package like a wolf sinking its salivating and glistening white teeth into the soft skin of its innocent prey. I dumped the contents of the package onto my bed and immediately assembled the Meraki repeater kit. The assembly was minimal, a toddler could have done it. Really, I’m not kidding, all you had to do was screw on the antennae and plug it in.







Now I’ve got free wireless in my apartment, and if my neighbors figure out the signal, they do too.

Thanks Meraki!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rinse and Repeat – January 15, 2008

Tired of the old rinse and repeat ritual of recreating all your content for all the various social networks out there? Help support the Data Portability initiative!

I’m really tired of having to build a profile every time I enter a new network. It takes time, my information is largely inconsistent (i.e. email addresses, photos, links, etc), and it gives me a damn headache.

The Data Portability initiative is in the process of creating a tool that allows you to carry around a “briefcase” of personal information that you can then plug into any social outlet that you like/trust. The only thing I’m unsure of is if you can bring along your contact lists too.

For more information go to http://dataportability.org or watch this video.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Jo-Tel Dinner Party

Need I say more? It was the Jo-Tel dinner party!

No Pants 2K8 SF – January 15, 2008

I’ve managed to run through the city in a diaper, cut-off jean shorts, and a speedo, but never have I ever ridden the BART in my boxers. About 50-60 other people hadn’t either, but we banded together to freak out the squares and celebrate the beauty of flashmobs.

The scene was jovial and the energy was bubbling as a mass group of people of all types, shapes, and sizes awaited outside the Embarcadero BART station to hear instructions on where and when to de-pants. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, and the tension was rising amongst the flashmob attendees, and shortly after the Ferry Building’s clock rang 3 o’clock our ‘leader” appeared.




He told us to get into the BART station, take off our pants, act serious about being pantless, then switch cars in between stops, go no farther then Daly City, and head back to the Irish Bank to celebrate.

It was pure madness. I loved every second of it. Here are some pics, see more at my Flickr page. Improv Everywhere out of NYC must be proud, as we got tons of media coverage. Check out Natalia’s Flickr, LaughingSquid, and the SFist.

20 Minutes Until Jobs' Keynote - January 15, 2008

OMG OMG! Only 20 minutes until the keynote address at MacWorld.

What will be announced? Please a nano iPhone...or maybe a cheaper Mac Book. Or even a price point drop for the iPhone. Or maybe a social networking feature for iTunes....hmmmm....who knows!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Never Miss a Show Again – January 14, 2007

I LOVE music! However, nothing pisses me off more than getting into a new artist or rediscovering a long lost album in my iTunes folder, and finding out that the band just played in town. This year alone, I can count at least three times I’ve missed out on shows that I would have loved to have gone to. Well….never miss a show again.

Enter SonicLiving – this great service simply uploads your iTunes list to its music calendar database and automatically let’s you know when an artist in your iTunes library is coming to town. You have to sign up online, but it’s totally worth it.

There’s also a more broad service offered by Yahoo called “Upcoming”, which alerts you to events happening in your area. You can look by categories such as education, comedy, music, politics, etc. I can’t vouch for this service as I’m not a regular user, but it looks pretty spot on.


Finally, you could go with iConcertCal, which is the exact same thing as SonicLiving, but instead of having to log onto a website, you access the information via iTunes. No networking involved as with SonicLiving, which is kinda a downer.



Friday, January 11, 2008

Must Have Toolbar Widgets – January 11, 2008

I know I might be a little delayed on sharing the whole widget/toolbar madness, but I wanted to share with you two of my most prizes possessions that I use all the time.

1. StumbleUpon – I’m sure this is a given for most of my readers, but I’m writing about it anyways. Essentially, once this toolbar widget is clicked on, you are automatically directed to a cool webpage based on your content preferences. Besides being limited to randomness, you can “stumble” more specific content like images, Wikipedia pages, videos, etc. The sites always kick ass. You also have the opportunity to vote on any site you want to in order to contribute to the “stream” of Stumble.
2. ShareThis – Most awesome tool to share and disseminate information to your friends, social networks, email lists, or news aggregators. All you do is click the button and decide where you want it to go.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Take Off Your Pants – January 10, 2008

Calling all wanna be exhibitionists! It’s time to take off your pants….in public. That’s right.

Originally started by the group Improv Everywhere based out of NYC, the Take Off Your Pants mission is intended to do nothing but freak out other riders and to have some fun. It’s just like it sounds. You take off your pants and then ride the BART.

Everyone’s meeting January 12th at 3pm sharp at the Embarcadero Bart station to get instructions. For more details, check out the Facebook page here.

Improv Everywhere is a group based in NYC that stages large-scale "Scenes" just because. Take Off Your Pants was started back in 2002 in NYC

See you there. And remember, no thongs.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Free the Net – January 9, 2008


Do you hate paying for stuff….clothes, food, gas, etc. Well now (as long as you live in San Francisco) you can escape the evil grasp of internet providers, and get your web for free.

My friend Ken shared this growing secret with me known as Meraki. It’s a new company in the Bay Area that is focused on giving away the Internet. Their plan of attack is to hand out free signal repeaters to individuals/volunteers in the city so that Meraki wireless spreads faster than herpes in the Marina.

Hopefully, if Merkai can reach the goal of freeing the net in San Francisco, they will be able to achieve their goal of offering affordable internet access to the next billion people.

This “repater” boosts the spread of your/their signal so that it will blanket the entire city. If you want to become involved you can do so here. It’s totally free! My repeater is on its way.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Say Thank You – January 7, 2008

When I was back home for the holidays, my Dad made the family watch this DVD called “Messages From Water.”

Initially I was skeptical. Extremely skeptical. The intro was slow and amateurish. They claimed that a scientist had “[an] astonishing discovery about water, documented photographically, that changed most of what we didn't know and led to a new consciousness of Earth's most precious resource.”

After thirty minutes I was incredibly intrigued by the research Dr. Emoto accomplished. Dr. Emoto had a theory that water could contain a memory or impression, but he had no idea how to measure this. Eventually, he decided that if he froze the water he could look at and take pictures of the crystal formations it created.

He found that spring water produced beautiful crystals, while treated tap water produced deformed or no crystals. Even more incredible was the fact that water that had positive words, “thank you”, taped onto the outside of its container produced perfect crystals unlike water that had negative words, “you fool”, taped to its container. There was also an awesome rice experiment that you can watch a YouTube video about it here.

I recommend checking out the DVD. t might be way out there for some, but it’s worth the time.



How Much Are You Worth - January 7, 2008

Belly up to the bar, and find out how much your blog is worth. I'm not sure how accurate they are, but it's pretty enticing to give into ruining my page with AdWords. Value your blog here!


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Riding Clouds Inside – January 5, 2008

Do you want to jump out of a plane?

Me neither, however, I always wanted to find out what it feels like.

I can only imagine the thoughts that would rummage through my head as I plummeted towards the Earth at 120 miles per hour. Minus soiling my pants, I think the feeling of air rushing through your hair and tickling your scalp would be quite captivating. The pressure of the wind against my chest and legs would be Mother Nature’s equivalent of a bear hug.

Enter iflySF. Experience the sensation of skydiving inside! It’s much cheaper than the real thing, and the chances of having your spine snapped in half is impossible. I’m going soon.


Friday, January 4, 2008

Late to the Game? – January 4, 2007

Yahoo gave a mini face lift to one of its service, My Web 2.0, to allow users to share their index of web pages and links with other users.

Basically, you can join groups that share a common interest, and those groups then share each other’s web links and pages. The content of everyone’s links/pages is searchable by those within the group. Also, users can tag specific content so it is more easily searchable. Finally, users of the groups have options to save pages or links.

Essentially, this is Yahoo’s latest attempt to give people more relevant searches. For example, a group of entrepreneurs could share their own links and pages with another, with the confidence that their searches will deliver only results that are relevant to their interests and approved by their colleagues.

While this service seems pretty cool, isn’t Digg all about this? I’m going to beta-test this, and we’ll see where it ends up. I’ll fill you on the details as it progresses.