Pimp’d

May 27th, 2010

pimpThere’s been a lot of back and forth about Facebook privacy lately, so I thought I’d add to it a little with a few thoughts on it of my own. Even though I haven’t been as outraged as some, I still find the way they choose to do things somewhat disturbing.

As I said, there’s been plenty of great write-ups about this already, which I’m sure some of you have already read and I’m not going to repeat. But here are a two things worth keeping in mind:

First, Facebook is a corporation and the sole purpose of corporations is to make its shareholders wealthy, not to keep customers happy. Of course, they sometimes go hand in hand, but not always (see health insurance companies for more details on that). If you think that Facebook “cares” about you and how you feel and think, you’re delusional. They start caring when they notice a trend that diminishes their profits.

This is what we see now with the whole privacy fiasco. They don’t care if they sell us out. If you don’t complain and notice, they’ll do it because it’s in their best interest. More money in their pockets. More profit for shareholders. This isn’t anything to be bitter or cynical about, it’s just how many companies operate. It’s capitalism in its purest form. It’s a simple fact and knowing that makes all the difference. It is also the reason they’re able to provide us with this (arguably) useful service and why we can keep uploading endless videos of dogs on skateboards for free.

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Buzztastic?

February 16th, 2010

gbuzzIt’s a new year and we have a new social network. It seems that they keep popping up every few weeks lately. This time, Google managed to deliver another something for me to worship. I wish I could tell them to stop or at least slow down, as my chanting sessions are getting out of hand, and there is simply not enough time to dedicate a chant for each of their products. I would be chanting from morning till night without interruption.

At this point I’m probably a member of more social networks than I have real friends and I’m still not quite sure it’s a testament to me living on the bleeding edge of technology or simply having been shunned by mainstream society as a whole. Or both.

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Happy New Year!!

December 31st, 2009

Time is running out and I don’t have anything of value to say right now, so I’m going to let JibJab do the talking and summarize the past year for me. They do it better anyway. So, Happy New Year’s everyone! Hopefully the new one will be better than the last.

Donald Duck = Christmas

December 23rd, 2009

091221_CB_donaldDuckTNI never really thought of this tradition as weird, but when reading the view of an outsider, it makes me question what normal really is. Props to  the Disney company for managing to enslave and indoctrinate a whole nation, making Donald Duck synonymous with Christmas. Who would have thought it to be possible?!

Three years ago, I went to Sweden with my then-girlfriend (now-wife), to meet her family and celebrate my first Christmas. As an only partially lapsed Jew, I was not well-versed in Christmas traditions, and I was completely ignorant of Swedish customs and culture. So I was prepared for surprises. I was not prepared for this: Every year on Dec. 24 at 3 p.m., half of Sweden sits down in front of the television for a family viewing of the 1958 Walt Disney Presents Christmas special, “From All of Us to All of You.” Or as it is known in Sverige, Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul: “Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas.”

Read the rest of the article here.

From All of Us to All of You, I wish you a Merry Christmas!

(Thanks for the link Jonas)

The Big Lie

December 7th, 2009

3124443099_368a2915feDear Everyone on Earth,

I’m writing to you with a plea for help. I’m desperate and I have no one else to turn to. So, please hear me out and provide assistance if you can.

I’d like to believe in Santa. I want to believe. The problem is, that the Santa story is too convoluted and insane for anyone to really believe in. The only reason kids do, is because they have yet to develop the right amount of cynicism needed to realize that their parents are lying to them.

See, the problem isn’t necessarily the story itself, it’s more that there are so many different versions of it. Or rather, ways they’re executed. Coming from a different culture than the country I grew up in created its challenges. Our Christmas celebration differed from the one most of my friends’ had. It could be just minor things like what music was played or what was eaten at Christmas Eve, but it still created irreversible cracks in the foundation of the narrative. For us, Santa appeared in person. One of the adults, usually a dad or uncle, mysteriously disappeared for a while to go to the store, to get that random, critical, christmasy thing that was so incredibly essential that it justified an absence at the crescendo of the evening. Minutes later, of course, Santa would appear handing out presents to everyone.

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Stranger than fiction

November 30th, 2009

20091128

A new phone

October 9th, 2009

T-Mobile-MyTouch-3G-official

Yes, I got a new phone. I know. I totally caved in, bought an Android phone and surrendered my life to Google.  About a month ago, the wife’s phone started to malfunction, so I saw it as a great opportunity to have her be the guinea pig. I thought this was was a great idea. She needed a device to manage her busy life of juggling 2 kids and volunteering for kids new school while having an active social life. And I needed a good excuse to buy a smartphone.  A win-win, as far as I could tell. Worst case scenario, she would hate the phone and I would get something better for myself, having the prior knowledge that hers was a piece of s*#t.

As luck would have it, she ended up loving it. I was then, of course,  forced to buy one identical to hers because of all the jealousy, deep rooted shame and self esteem issues I developed by having a smaller and inferior phone.  I do no longer have to hide my face in shame or face public ridicule as I leave confines of my own home.

I apologize it took so long to write this, no doubt, incredibly important post. It took me about three weeks to type it on the on-screen keyboard.

Music industry has lost the plot…

September 17th, 2009

A great article on CrunchGear. Read it, it’s quite funny.

It has come to my attention that the music industry now wants royalties for those 30-second clips of music you hear in iTunes. That, I think you’ll agree, is bullshit. Seeing as how we’re a solution-oriented blog here at CrunchGear, I want to offer a completely fool-proof way to save the music industry and put an end to the years and years of nonsense we’ve seen since Napster was first released: let’s ban music. That’s right, let’s pass a law that says “the creation or performance of music, in any form, is hereby banned. Any violation of this law will be punishable by death.” Problem solved, let’s all play Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Read the rest of the article here.

Woo hoo!

September 10th, 2009

2007celebrate41_300Can’t believe I almost missed it!! One year ago today, I wrote my first post. I started this blog to write about absolutely nothing in particular, and thus far I am very close to hitting my goal of being completely irrelevant on the web. I can’t say I’m quite there yet, since there have been instances occasionally where posts may have brushed on newsworthiness or even interestingness (if that’s a word). Honest mistakes, I’m sure, and I promise that won’t happen again, as my mission of mediocrity continues.

Well anyway, I just wanted to pat myself on the back a little as I’m still in shock that I actually made it this far.

Happy New Year everyone!

Fanboi

September 10th, 2009

glogoNot sure when it happened. It wasn’t love at first sight. I think it was gradual. But I’m slowly realizing that I’m a Google fanboi. It started with Search, then with a simple Gmail invite. Then Google Calendar, Reader. Now, lately Google Voice. And soon Google Wave. I don’t know how they do it, yet they manage to complicate my life in the most user friendly ways possible. Introducing applications I never knew I needed. And on top of that, claiming they’re not evil, even though we’re never quite sure what it is they do with all our data. Quite frankly, I almost don’t care because I’m so severely blinded by their awesomeness. They could be building an Orwellian empire, or secretly plotting elaborate extortion schemes based on my web searches. But being the fanboi my 12 step program finally lets me admit to, I’m certain my data is only used for good purposes. Like, solving world hunger or classes on performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitationon on kittens. Either way, we should all be thankful Google exists. Because they sure can’t stop, given that all those things I never really needed in the first place are now interwoven into the very fabric of my being.

Now, excuse me as I turn to the giant G on my wall and chant for a bit before going to bed.