Saturday, October 28, 2006

Some really cool sounds

This guy is damn good.

Simon Davies - Big Love (Lindsey Buckingham cover)

If you want to see & hear even more: Simon Davies Videos on YouTube

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Microsoft's EULA

I was installing the .Net 2.0 framework on a WinME PC recently.

I am wondering if I should have agreed to this EULA:



Humorous Note: Windows Live Writer's spellcheck doesn't know what WinME is.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Brand Names: The Hell of the Hype

Related to a discussion on the hype behind brand recognition that is going on here, is this gem from Random Rarebits:

How is communication important in branding? Perhaps...the following analogies will help us define the word...

You're at a party and see a handsome guy. You get up and straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, "May I," and reach up to straighten his tie brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Public Relations.

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says,"She's fantastic in bed." That's Advertising.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed." That's Direct Marketing.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Telemarketing.

You're on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you're passing. So you climb out the sunroof of the car and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed!" That's Spam.

You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, "I hear you're fantastic in bed." That's Brand Recognition.

Some brands have become so recognizable, that the brand becomes the commonly known substitute for the generic name for the product:

Brillo = steel wool soap pads.
Q-tips = cotton tipped swabs.
Cheez Whiz = processed cheese product
Kitty Litter = cat box filler
Band-Aid = plastic adhesive bandage
Velcro = hook & loop tape
Post-It Notes = sticky notes
Scotch Tape = clear cellophane tape
Duck Tape = duct tape
Minute Rice = instant rice
Oreos = chocolate sandwich cookies with white cream
Coke = carbonated 'cola' beverage
Saran Wrap = plastic wrap
Windex = ammonia based glass cleaner
Escalator = moving staircase
Allen wrench = hexagonal screwdriver
Crock-Pot = slow cooker
Granola = oat and fruit mixture
Hula Hoop - toy ring
Linoleum = vinyl floor covering
Touch-Tone = dual tone multi-frequency telephone signaling
Yo-Yo = toy
Lava lamp = decorative light
Spam = canned pork product
Ace bandage = cloth elastic bandage
Alka-Seltzer = multi-purpose effervescent tablet
Novocaine = local anesthetic
Tylenol = pain reliever
Advil = pain reliever
Aqua-Lung = Scuba equipment
Breathalyzer = breath alcohol analyzer
Bubble Wrap = air-filled plastic packing material
ChapStick = lip balm
Ethernet = IEEE 802.3 LAN protocol
Fig Newton = soft cake-like cookie filled with fig jam
Jaws of Life = a rescue tool
Jell-O = gelatin dessert
Kleenex = packaged folded facial tissue paper
Laundromat = self-service laundry
Magic Marker = Felt-tip marker
Phillips Screwdriver = screwdriver with a cross-pointed drive hole
Play-Doh = commercial plastic modeling compound, clay-like
Pop Tart = breakfast toaster pastry
Rollerblade = inline skates
Speedo = tight-fitting swimsuit
Swiss Army Knife = a clasp-knife with multi-functional blades
Thermos = vacuum flask
Vaseline = petroleum jelly
Windbreaker = light jacket
X-Acto knife = sharp precision craft knife with short replaceable blades
Zamboni = ice resurfacing machine

In the end, regardless of what brand of the actual product you use, you still call it by its most recognizable brand name.

Could that be considered a success by a company? or perhaps a bit of a failure at the same time, since you call the competitors product by their brand name and buy the other product any way.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Companies Pay for Good Reviews and Praise

The discussion began back in February for us, on, but the latest chapter is quite hilarious.

If someone offered you cash or a freebie to say nice things about their products on forums or in your blog, could you, with a clear conscience, do something like that to your readers? Even if it was a crap product? Would violating their trust be worth it in the long run?

phoneJoel Spolsky didn't think so. Sprint gave him a free phone to write about. And he wrote about it in the most brutally honest way imaginable.

Way to go, Joel, for your honesty and not compromising your integrity for a free phone. You've earned +10 internet points from me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Song of Life

I thought the following story was very sweet, but almost too incredible to be a fairytale. I'd love to verify it.

There is a tribe in East Africa in which the art of true intimacy (I would call it bonding) is fostered even before birth. In this tribe, the birth date of a child is not counted from the day of its physical birth nor even the day of conception, as in other village cultures. For this tribe the birth date comes the first time the child is a thought in its mother's mind. Aware of her intention to conceive a child with a particular father, the mother then goes off to sit alone under a tree. There she sits and listens until she can hear the song of the child that she hopes to conceive. Once she has heard it, she returns to her village and teaches it to the father so that they can sing it together as they make love, inviting the child to join them. After the child is conceived, she sings it to the baby in her womb. Then she teaches it to the old women and midwives of the village, so that throughout the labor and at the miraculous moment of birth itself, the child is greeted with its song. After the birth, all the villagers learn the song of their new member and sing it to the child when it falls or hurts itself. It is sung in times of triumph, or in rituals and initiations. The song becomes a part of the marriage ceremony when the child is grown, and at the end of life, his or her loved ones will gather around the deathbed and sing this song for the last time.

(From Birth and Violence)