Who is more likely to enjoy Classical music?

So, it's pretty clear that Royce and I are pretty far apart in our tastes in music. Without any sound, you can tell he probably likes whatever the guy on the right is playing, while I prefer the group on the left. Now, I'm going to argue that songs played acoustically tend to emphasize the singer and the lyrics, while rock bands with electric guitars will focus on the music/harmony/melody and will even go into extended guitar/bass/drum solos just to hear more of the music some of these musicians are capable of. I'm going to further argue that Mr. Acoustic is more likely to enjoy a poem, being lyrics with no music, and Mr. Rock is more likely to enjoy Classical music...all melody, no lyrics. (Especially when it includes cannons or explosions)

You see what I did right there?!? BAM!!

Oh yeah, the Pro Bowl is this weekend...

So the Pro Bowl is this weekend. With Peyton Manning being in the Super Bowl, Philip Rivers and Tom Brady out due to "injury", the AFC is sending Matt Schaub, Vince Young and David Garrard as its representatives. Ross Tucker does a pretty good job elaborating most of the problems with the Pro Bowl. I like his idea of switching linemen and skill positions.

Do you care about the Pro Bowl? ...you know what, if I'm home Sunday and it's on, there's a pretty good chance I'll tune in. Even with all the problems the Pro Bowl has, I still love watching NFL football.

Air New Zealand's Economy Beds

What do you think of this idea - Air New Zealand is going to offer economy class beds which are basically rows of three economy seats with enough room to sleep on. They say the 'beds' cost the equivalent of two and a half economy seats. I think it's a clever way to provide some comfort; would you get one of these for a long flight to, say, Australia?

Also I wonder about the economics of the beds... are they losing money on those flights when they could be filling those seats with full-priced passengers?

Music Tuesdays - Under the Milky Way Tonight by The Church

This is my favorite song by The Church. Two The Church facts: 1) this song was featured in the quite enjoyable Donnie Darko Soundtrack, and 2) just like Empire of the Sun they are from Australia.

BusinessWeek: Bad Bosses Slideshow

I enjoyed this BusinessWeek slideshow about different types of bad bosses a little too much. I sure recognize some of these traits in bosses I've had - and in myself... Do you recognize any of the types?

Common Sense with Dan Carlin: Culture Wars

An independent political podcaster, Dan Carlin has been producing his Common Sense show for several years now. I enjoy listening to him because he usually has an interesting angle on topics which isn't replicated by the talking points you hear on talk radio and TV. He therefore gets me to think a little, though I'm not always in agreement.

Weekend Comedy 1/23

Found this courtesy of Aaron. Like last week's weekend comedy, this one's topical - Conan's last show was great

NFL Conference Title Games

The Birthmark vs. The Retiree. The Commercial vs. The [NSFW]. Colts -8. Saints -3.5. I've been trying to find anything that will give me some confidence in making these picks any way. The Vikings pass rush could bother Drew Brees even more than the Cowboys did in December. The Jets could run on the smaller quicker defenders of the Colts and even if they don't win, could still keep the game closer than 8. I finally settled on Bill Simmon's philosophy of only taking the underdog if you think they can win outright...and interceptions. So taking a look at the team offensive and defensive stats, specifically interceptions thrown and interceptions by the defense, and decided who I think will win that way.

txt msg spLN

Crazy kids these days!

If you're like me, the title of this post may be half readable. The other half may look like gobbledygook. If you're still like me, you'd love to use a site like this to help you understand what the heck the title is saying. Why, you might be asking yourself, is Scott bringing up 12-year-old girl text messaging habits? I'm glad I, erm....you asked! I stumbled across this article on BBC yesterday and found it neat that 12-year-old girls now have ammunition to use in their battle against The Man when they're told to put the phone away in class, or they'll lose it until the end of the school year.

Great Idea (I think?), poor execution

Why don't more companies try to do this? I can only imagine that developing a great, funny, interesting video that goes viral can reach as many people as buying a 30 second spot on The Jay Leno Show. (check out the search I used). Unfortunately, I don't think this particular video is good enough to truly go viral...so I am applauding the effort and the idea, not the video itself. Is this where advertising will go in the future? Advertisers not wanting to pay to broadcast their ads? Between this idea (not yet a theory) and DVR (which is a whole separate conversation about how Tivo could not quite become the Kleenex or Xerox of the DVR industry) which allows viewers to fast forward through commercials, will TV ads eventually die out? Will the commercial time become so cheap that broadcast networks will be unable to provide shows with the great production values we have come to expect? Are we going to move back to '50s style product placement?

Delicious Library 2

I was introduced to the website for Delicious Library several weeks ago, and since that time the idea of it has gestated in my mind like the chestburster from Alien. Rather than having my sternum sundered by its birthing act, however, I will probably opt to install it on my desktop.

The Delicious Library concept is smart - it creates a catalog of all your possessions and arranges them on its aesthetically pleasing interface. By far their best achievement is in their visual design; they've made it fun to look at it and (apparently) easy to use. As we all know, smart design is what separates great services from annoying ones

Read the description on the main page and tell me if you're intrigued. The two main functions of having a "catalog" of what you own seem useful to me... to remember if you loan something to a friend, or to have a complete list to give to your insurance company in case of an incident.

It costs $40. Would you use Delicious Library?

Music Tuesdays - Just Like Heaven cover by the Watson Twins

Despite what I said in the Music Tuesday featuring Links, this song is one I really like. Two things about my music taste - I'm a big fan of song covers and I'm a sucker for female singers. Check and check.

Weekend Comedy 1/16

This is topical humor; P-E-Y is playing this weekend. That guy's pretty good.

What's the Deal With Remixes

Are you a remix fan or not a remix fan?

The Walk It Out remix feat. Andre 3000 is one of few remixes I like more than the original (the link has better sound quality than the embed). Another example for me is the Til I Collapse Remix with 50 Cent, Eminem, and BIG's chorus track:

Most of the time, when I hear a remix it pales in comparison to the original. For example, T.I.'s Rubber Band Man Remix is not nearly on par with the original, nor is Jay-Z's Dirt Off Your Shoulder Remix nearly as good as its source material. Those originals are two of my favorites, but I can't stand the remixes. One thing I will say in Jay-Z's favor is that at least he got creative with his remix and threw it over a sample of Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve, which is an interesting pairing.

My theory is that when we hear the remix first and like it, then the original becomes the de facto remix - a bastardization of the song we hold in our minds. That's the only time remixes are better. What about for you?

NFL Playoffs Divisional Weekend

This year, I developed crazy fantasy man-love for Ray Rice. I played in three fantasy leagues with money involved, so I really cared about those leagues (as opposed to the other dozen free public leagues which I cared about, just slightly less). In two of those leagues I drafted Ray Rice, once as high as the first pick of the fourth round (pick 37) because I knew he wasn't coming back to me at 60. In the third, I traded for him mid season. I now have Ray Rice in two keeper leagues and I am mostly going to thank Matthew Berry and ESPN's Fantasy Focus podcast. 1300 yards rushing and 700 yards receiving and one fantasy league is a PPR. Now I just need Willis McGahee to hurt his knee again and stop vulturing TDs. So how is all this relevant?

Haiti and the Emergence of Mobile Payments

First: we here at FIWK send our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the earthquake that struck Haiti a few days back.

I wanted to use this space to bring up a topic we've already discussed twice here a FIWK (here and here): mobile commerce. We spent a good bit of time last week discussing the craziness that is the current technology sector, and what we thought the Telecom landscape might look like in 2020. However, I don't believe we once noted mobile payments - a concept that has blown up surrounding The Red Cross' relief efforts in Haiti (to the tune of $2M). The company responsible for the technology used by the Red Cross is mGive, and it's CEO noted that their Haiti effort could be a tipping point for mobile giving.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Americans are more likely to use such a service for normal payments now that they've seen how easy the process is?

Neville Hobson: 5 Examples of Twitter Innovation

Neville Hobson, a blogger about social media (albeit from an older generation than C-Mac, et al) recently wrote about Five examples of innovation with Twitter from five major companies.

He in turn is pulling these examples from Entrepreneur magazine, as linked in his blog. To be honest there isn't a lot of analysis here beyond a vague description of the campaign. But look at the total number of followers - 6,000 for Subway, 4,700 for McDonald's, 38,000 for Dunkin' Donuts? And have you looked at what those accounts post? As Aaron explained yesterday, this is almost a lesson in how NOT to use Twitter, right?

Music Tuesdays - Doubt by Links

I'm going extremely niche with this one - Links is a local LA band. Their website has some songs but I can't get them to play, so you're better off going to their YouTube channel, Linksisaband (which is a funny name)

You got any recommendations this week? Anything really local maybe?

Survivor Audition

I have submitted a couple Survivor auditions in the past, but have failed. In the past you were required to submit a VHS tape, but now you are allowed to upload a digital video. Now, I don't honestly plan on being accepted, but I love the show and I'm going to try again. This time, I'm asking for your help. Both in terms of ideas and technology, because I don't actually have a video camera of any kind.

Parallel Parking for Nicole is Better

In honor of our new SF friend, Nicole/More is Better, I figured I'd show her our to parallel park:

2 Notes:
  1. You'll never find a spot with "an extra 5 feet of space" in SF; change this phrase to "an extra 5 inches of space".
  2. Hills make parallel parking more entertaining - if not for the driver, for those watching the driver.

If confused, you should definitely not take lessons from this person, nor this fellow SF-er.

NFL Playoffs Week 1

For the first week of the playoffs this season, three out of the four matchups are rematches of the week before. Normally, you see analysis of a rematch from way back in Week 4 (NE 27- Bal 21), which is so long ago that it really is useless. I mean Wes Welker is out and...ok, the teams are basically the same, so maybe it is useful. Since Yahoo's Pick'Em ended, I'm going to use the Sports Guy for the lines, mostly because I'm too lazy/busy to look them up for myself. Now the Bengals are favored by 2.5 over the Jets, to whom their second string lost 37-0 only six days prior. The Eagles are four point underdogs to the Cowboys after both teams played their starters last Sunday and the Cowboys (what's a good verb here? demolished? creamed? wiped the floor with? annihilated?) displayed their superiority in a 24-0 rout. The Wes Welker-less Patriots (all writers discussing the NFL this week are obligated to mention that the Patriots are playing without the league leader in receptions...seriously, Roger Goodell sent out a memo...you didn't get it? Let me know and I'll forward it to you.) have the standard 3 point home field advantage over the Ravens. I think this means that Vegas would have LOVED to see Welker go down in Week 16 so that they could see the Patriots operate without Welker at least once. Because his absence from the offense just confuses them. And finally Green Bay is currently a PICK with Arizona, which is Vegas saying the Cardinals are at home, but the Packers won 33-7 last week.

SORO is the new SoHo

There is an area of LA between Beverly Hills and the 10 freeway which is pretty bland. Its west and east borders are roughly Culver City and La Cienega Blvd. Several main streets - Pico, Robertson, La Cienega, Cadillac - run through the area, along which some shops and restaurants sit. The chief purpose of these streets, however, is to convey you through this bland area to another, more desirable area. The majority of the region is a series of suburban neighborhoods which meander from street to street. I have to imagine the no-man's-land location of these neighborhoods represses real estate values of homes compared to neighborhoods with name-recognition value such as Palms, Mar Vista, WeHo, etc. on the westside.

Recently, however, a group has attempted to give this bland area an identity. They have rebranded it as SORO - South Robertson - and have developed a website, community events (like "Walks at 7"), and a local rewards card to give you discounts at local shops. The most obvious thing, of course, is the appearance of street banners you can see below.

Curbed LA wrote a blurb about SORO over the summer. The user comments are entertaining for local reactions. I have heard this area called both "Beverly Hills Adjacent" and "Mid-Wilshire" (although I know Mid-Wilshire extends up towards Koreatown). What do you think of the efforts to brand this random neighborhood? Any chance of giving SORO an identity as strong as when we think of SoHo or Beverly Hills?

The Wild Wild Tech

Network World posted a report today outlining the 10 toughest rivals Google will meet in the coming years. Being a part of the mobile industry has given me great exposure to the Smartphone battle that has been shaping up since the iPhone burst onto the scene back in 2007 (Google launched the Nexus One yesterday as it's latest foray into the tech world). Network World's article is a fascinating look into how unique and rapid Google's rise in the otts has led them to have a rather odd list of key rivals.

Find a quick rundown and some thoughts after the jump...

Music Tuesdays - List of Demands by Saul Williams

This song is a bit older but I enjoy it... it's also on the soundtrack for NBA 2k10 which reminded me of its existence. Anyone have music suggestions? I'm terrrrrible at finding music. I found last week's music by hearing her on Conan one night.

By the way, with the terminus of the Niners' season at hand I move to transition Tuesday Morning Crabtree Watch to Music Tuesdays. If I were really talented I'd do a mash up of our song selections and overlay it to the video of the Crabtree Shuffle for FIWK Meta-Tuesdays. But I am not talented.

Ambidexterity - WTF?

Apparently, the ability to be ambidextrous is something that can be learned. Who knew? I tried to brush my teeth left-handed last night; it didn't work, and that was with an electric toothbrush purchased through the randomly awesome site known as Woot (yes, I linked to Woot for no apparent reason; live with it).

So, I ask you - is there any task out there in which you'd consider yourself ambidextrous?