CollegeHumor and YouTube have copies of of the new Batman: Dark Knight Trailer going around placed against the original Tim Burton's Batman trailor from years ago. Comments on YouTube say this is not actually the Tim Burton cut, but it's still a coo comparison between the two films none-the-less. College Humor link here: http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1813453
Friday 6/20 - Pearl Jam Concert in Camden NJ
Saturday 6/21 - Nationals vs. Rangers inter-league play in Washington D.C.
Sunday 6/22 - Phillies vs. Angels inter-league play in Philadelphia
I'm psyched for all of these, should be an awesome weekend.
- San Francisco itself (what are the best things to do there)
- Redwood trees (I hear Muir Woods is close and impressive)
- Wine country (I have no idea where to start)
It'll be seven days end of June. I'm open to any ideas and suggestions on where to stay what to do the whole works.
Normally I put up pictures of the Sixers dominating, but I couldn't resist this one of the Pistons so disheartened on the front page of ESPN. I was walking home last night from my family's Sedar and saw on my phone that it was a 1-point game with 17 seconds left. I ran to the nearest restaurant and watched through the window of the service entrance as Iguodola nailed the win with two free-throws.
Yahoo Puts All The Chips On The Table. Time For Somebody To Fold: "Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney previously said that a Yahoo-Google search deal could boost cash flows by 25%. Experts we talked to estimated that could boost Yahoo’s market valuation by $7 billion or so, less than half the premium Microsoft offered on February 1.
That Mahaney estimate of increased cash flow from a Yahoo-Google deal is now “more than $1 billion a year,” a 50% gain in cash flow from 2007. That puts the offers roughly on par, give or take a few billion. And it gives Yahoo a potentially viable alternative to the Microsoft deal."
Yesterday Google released a new version of their rich desktop satellite map tool, Google Earth. The new Google Earth has more detailed imagery, more 3D constructs visible by layers, and more control over the exact view of user. You can now fly all the way down to street level and land on the Golden Gate Bridge. You can stand on the top of buildings and rotate your view from there. They've also added in high-resolution street view photography that is popular on Google Maps, but this time you can stand directly in the photos and walk through them with crystal clear resolution.
Other additions: you can now see the date an aerial photograph was taken, and you can also turn on day/night effects to see how atmospheric lighting impacts views.
The downsides: as always, everything only works "where available", so the best quality imagery is only in certain spots and certain cities. As you can see in the photo above, by turning on street view you can actually see bubbles that you can think of starting points for the high resolution walking. And running Google Earth was heavy on my computer because it is continually streaming in high-resolution photography at every second, slowing things considerably.
[images borrowed from Google Earth Blog]
|Track your package|
|April 16, 2008||01:32:00 AM||NEW YORK NY US||Out for delivery|
|April 15, 2008||11:16:00 PM||NEW YORK NY US||Arrival Scan|
|April 15, 2008||10:40:00 PM||NEWARK NJ US||Departure Scan|
|April 15, 2008||06:46:00 PM||NEWARK NJ US||Arrival Scan|
|April 15, 2008||04:27:00 PM||LOUISVILLE KY US||Departure Scan|
|April 15, 2008||12:11:00 PM||LOUISVILLE KY US||Arrival Scan|
|April 15, 2008||02:48:00 AM||MEMPHIS TN US||Departure Scan|
|April 15, 2008||01:02:00 AM||MEMPHIS TN US||Shipment picked up from seller's facility|
|April 14, 2008||06:20:22 AM||US||Carrier notified to pick up package|
Fierce competition among identity thieves has driven the prices for stolen data down to bargain-basement levels, which has forced crooks to adopt mainstream business tactics to lure customers, according to a new report on Internet security threats.The price of a credit card number has apparently dropped from $2 to $0.40 of recent.
[read more from a San Francisco Metro article I dug up here]
Raising the minimum age is not about talent, its about maturity. Maturity matters to this league. Mature players are marketable players. Mature players generate far less strain on the league. Mature players can take care of themselves. Mature players understand the business of the NBA and how they can positively impact it to their own benefit.I would add to it that maturity matters to the players themselves, and to the fans that enable them to make such gross amounts of money.
Starbucks seems like a company that you can really feel good about.
You don't usually get to say that about international chains, but after reading the Times Article about founder Howard Schultz and spending time on their company blog Ideas In Action, I'm willing to get behind them.
Howard Schultz has me totally convinced that he cares about his consumers, and his employers. He's going against normal business tactics and breaking up the streamlined assembly-line process that Starbucks has inherited over the last few years from bottom-line-dollar-first CEO's to raise the quality of the coffee. The beans will be ground fresh again, the espresso machines will be exposed to the consumers waiting in line for a more personalized experience. He's giving away internet and removing egg sandwiches, even though they were cash cows, because he wants loyalty for one and he wants nothing to steal from the smell of coffee for the other. He provides health insurance to his employees, which means they stay loyal to him, and I as a customer appreciate the minimal turnover.
The new company blog "Ideas in Action" is allowing customers to write in suggestions and feedback, and is one-by-one responding to the ideas that are brought up, in a detailed and candid manor. In one post about automated ordering they address something I'd been thinking too - why can't we just type in our order when we enter the line, so it's ready at the cash register? On the blog they address that they are in fact looking at ways to speed up the processing, but that automated ordering has it's drawbacks:
As a company, we want to be innovative and use technology to meet the needs of our customers. Ironically, when tested, technology often does not prove to be faster or more efficient than our current deployment and customer service model. Most importantly, we love the personal interactions we now have with our customers. Many of the comments on MyStarbucksIdea express regret that personal contact would be taken away if we replaced the barista who takes your order with an automated system.
Sometimes companies, my own included, forget that it's not enough to be working on an idea, a problem, a potential point of progress, you have to let your customers and employees know that you're working on it. A lot of the ideas Starbucks recognizes are in the works, but they are trying and they do care about the solution, they just aren't there yet. This open dialogue is invaluable to the little people not involved in the inside thinking.My only complaints with the blog, since I can voice them here: No RSS feed, and no direct linking to articles (otherwise you'd see them in this post). These are usability problems that shouldn't happen in any blog.
This morning when I arrived at Starbucks I was greeted with a new coffee-colored coffee cup, a sign that said when the coffee beans had last been ground, a sign that said the coffee is being brewed fresh every three minutes, a new every-day coffee flavor "pike place roast", and a gift-card in USA Today issues for a free cup of coffee each Wednesday for the next month. The back-to-coffee approach that Schultz is implementing as he steps back into the CEO role starts now.
Oh and I'm not the only one who was acutely aware that the new cups were a sign of something big... this popped up on Twitter around the same time I began thinking of writing this:
This Friday night I was awoken to the hidden underground "Art Battle" scene that takes place in the Green Room at 45 Bleeker, a frat-basement style jack-of-all-trades room where once a month you can find aspiring artists painting shoulder to shoulder with each other, surrounded by hundreds of on-lookers, a mix of live-music and DJ, and an MC that dishes out rhymes inspired by the art that unfolds in front of him. The crowd is filled with all types, the interest is everything from party to dance to art enthusiast, and the peculiarity of the whole scene is accentuated by random break-dancing billboard-juggling promoters that can't be described with words, but are as equally impressive as the artists.
Learn more about the art battles here.
After a 3 year hiatus, the Sixers have clinched a playoff spot! They're currently battling for 5th place in the standings, and could end up playing the Pistons, Magic, or Cavs in the first round - not sure who I prefer. I'll be at one of the last games of the season, Sixers vs. Cavs, in Philly next week.
Though I've through it hundreds of times, I never knew of the "Whispering Gallery" in Grand Central Station. Outside the Oyster bar downstairs in the dining concourse, there are two corners in an archway that have specifically designed acoustics to bounce sound discretely from one corner to another, so that only the person standing in the opposite corner facing the wall can hear, as if the wall is speaking to him. This is Ari talking to me from across the archway.
I'm thinking of putting together a "Best Pizza in New York City" walking tour, in an attempt to try all (or as many as possible) of the great pizza places that I haven't gotten to yet. I've set up a quick online form that you can enter the pizza recommendation in; give it a shot and your recommendation could make my Best Pizza of New York City tour!
some of the recommendations that have come in so far (i'll publish the full results at the end):