May 10, 2013
This New Thing In Real Estate Ads
Some months ago I wrote here about an idea among some real estate sales people that they could increase sales of very expensive real estate by creating brief video story-ettes with models pretending to be going through their beautiful, relaxed, romantic lives in the actual house that is being marketed. There were a couple of embarrassingly stupid videos provided as an example. Just because the real estate in question was in the L.A. area doesn't mean the sales people realized they should consult some professional writers for this.
But in Australia, someone's gotten it right. 92 Savoy Drive in Broadbeach Waters, Queensland, is available for $2.2 million (Australian dollars - or $2,196,920 American - wow, that's close). And they've created this video which features COPIOUS male rear nudity, plus some female nudity by the model who is, as I understand it, intended to be the stand-in for the potential buyer.
Here's the Street View of the public end of the path we see the young lady's paramour (or maybe he's her brother - they don't seem to share a bed) exiting along. Let's just sit here and watch to see if he comes out.
February 27, 2013
Deals On Refurbished Canon DSLRs
Deals offered from Canon itself. At the moment they range from an EOS Rebel T3 Black EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit for $352 (regularly $440) up to an EOS 5D Mark III Body for $2,799.21 (new price would be $3,149 at B&H).
February 16, 2013
The rumor is that Google will open some retail stores in 2013. You won't be able to buy a search, a map or a Youtube video, but you will be able to look at Nexus tablets and computers running Chrome OS, but the eventual goal will be to sell Glass. I think a large broom closet would do nicely for space. I would like to think that Google will not do the Microsoft thing, but will make their stores look different from Apple stores. Maybe they'll look like donut shops or a seafood stand at the beach.
What I would like to see at a Google store is a fast internet upload connection. If I could walk in with a 20 GB video and upload it at 50 Mbps to Youtube, I'd be happy to pay a dollar, or even a dollar-fifty.
February 13, 2013
Clean Your Re-usable Shopping Bags
Here's a 24-page paper reporting that if you let your re-usable shopping bag get dirty and put your fresh food in it, you are going to consume whatever gunk is in the bag along with your broccoli. Here's the key bit:
Williams et al (2011) randomly selected reusable grocery bags from consumers in grocery stores in Arizona and California. They examined the bags, finding coliform bacteria in 51 percent of the bags tested. Coliform bacteria were more prevalent in the California bags, especially those collected in the Los Angeles area. E. coli was found in 8 percent of the bags examined. The study also found that most people did not use separate bags for meats and vegetables. Further, 97 percent of individuals indicated they never washed their reusable grocery bags. Bacteria appeared to grow at a faster rate if the bags were stored in car trunks. This study suggests there may be large risks associated with using reusable grocery bags, though it does imply that fastidiously washing bags can virtually eliminate the risks. However, the survey results suggest that virtually no one washes these bags.
The whole rest of the study is all about how banning plastic shopping bags will lead us into this unhealthy situation. The study was at least partially funded by the Property and Environment Research Center which is "dedicated to improving environmental quality through property rights and markets."
The bright kid behind the keyboard raises his hand and says he has a better idea to prevent disease and general yuckiness than continuing to use plastic bags forever and ever:
- Wash your re-usable shopping bags.
- Use some of your shopping bags for meat and nothing else. All other bags are for all non-meat items.
We've already figured out how to use separate cutting boards and wash our hands and utensils, haven't we? This is just a small extension of that.
February 5, 2013
Dollar General Grand Opening Saturday, Feb. 9
Yes, that's 7:45 AM, but there's free stuff too!
February 2, 2013
For The Spontaneous (or merely forgetful) Man
Fast discreet delivery of a Durex condom (the video seems to suggest you get only one, so no mistakes or repeats, okay?) anywhere you need it...so long as you're in Dubai. Yes, really. Dubai. Get the iOS app here. (Android men don't forget their condoms.) They are taking votes on which city to expand to next and Paris is the big leader.
Quality Problems In GoPro Hero3 Black Edition
The Wirecutter has revised its earlier strong recommendation for the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition to a Wait for resolution of quality control problems. Here are the 1-star reviews on Amazon. They include inconsistent, very poor battery life; freeze-ups; unclear documentation on how to format cards bigger than 32 GB; poor customer service. The same issues may apply to the Silver Edition, but nobody complains about the cheapest White Edition.
Here is a discussion forum where the subject is some irregular crackling sound that occurs when using the Hero3 on cars in motion. It does not seem to correlate to anything electronic in the car (one guy even tested his tire inflation monitors), nor to vibration. I think there might be a connection to excessively loud bass (music, loud muffler, etc.) but that's partly the nature of the lives of the people who would buy a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition. It's possibly a flaw in the built-in microphone since it doesn't happen when you plug in an external mic. The worst part of it is that GoPro customer service denies it is happening or blames it on a loose camera mount, which is well disproved by the several videos uploaded.
When the Hero3 was released, GoPro also released a firmware update for the Hero2 - my model. It was buggy, creating lock ups at first. Once I got the lock up issue resolved, I still had to live with a very slow bootup process. But a more recent firmware upgrade has completely resolved all that, and my GoPro Hero2 is doing quite well. The GoPro Hero2 (Naked - no accessories) is available for $269 at Amazon. Interestingly, that price has risen since the Hero3 was released. A few months ago the Hero2 was only $200. The Hero3 goes for $400.
January 28, 2013
Easy Home Automation
For this project you will need:
- A Wi-fi router,
- An iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), and
Step 1, send your $50 to Amazon for this Belkin WeMo Home Automation Switch. Step 2, plug it into an electrical outlet (we did assume you have electricity). Step 3, download the app to your iOS device. Step 4, use the app to tell the WeMo your wi-fi password. Step 5, plug something into the WeMo, like a light (not your kitchen stove). Step 6, amaze your friends and confuse your cats by turning the light on and off from across the room, or even from your front yard.
December 17, 2012
New Apple Store In Santa Monica
It opened this past weekend on the 3rd Street Promenade. But that's not the real news. The real news, reported by the Wall Street Journal last July is that the landlords bought the 17,500 s.f. building for $60 million and the rent will be about $3,400/s.f. Other retail stores in the neighborhood typically pay $150 to $250/s.f. "Brokers involved in the transaction say it likely ranks among the highest prices on a per-square-foot basis on the West Coast in several years."
(via L.A. Racked)
December 9, 2012
Besides walking uphill 10 miles in 6 feet of snow every day...
...there were also these outrageous prices we had to pay for computer hardware! The following are found in the "Radio Shack Catalog RSC-09 Computer Catalog (1983)" at archive.org.
16 K RAM upgrade for $130 - labor is extra, but they throw in a keypad as gravy. Oh, you want lower case letters! What's wrong with shouting? Too sensitive for that? That'll be $59 more - which is about $2.27 per letter. Don't even dream of getting anything but Courier.
Just your basic paper shredder that sits on top of a wastebasket, $250! If you're crazy enough to buy your wastebaskets at Radio Shack it'll set you back another $30 in your choice of vinyl laminated walnut finish.
Disk drive $600. That's a FLOPPY disk drive, maximum capacity 153K. But after the first drive each additional one is only $400, so the savings really pile up!
But the real computer man wants a big hard drive, and those start at only $2,495 for 5 (count 'em, five!) megabytes. Comes with a BACKUP command which allows the user to backup the contents of the hard drive to floppy disks. You're going to need one of those floppy disk drives! Note how this hard drive comes with a key. That goes to the starter motor - it required a gasoline engine to spin a drive this big.
The median household income in the U.S. in 1983 was $20,885. In 2011 it was $50,502. Using that as a guideline, today's equivalent price for that hard drive would be $6,033.