12/26/35 ---------------- TV-AC Outlets, DVD Position Selectors
This ocured to me yesterday while vacuuming the living room. Why doesn't a large electrified object like a TV (crt or projection TV) have an electrical outlet on the front side. What a luxury this would be. Think about it. It's the only place where, by its location, you'd never put in a permanent plug ... it would be ugly. So, there would always be a plug handy whenever you needed temporary power.No more, crawling behind the stereo, lamp, end table looking for a plug to stick in your vacuum, camera, carpet shampooer, etc. It would always be there ... ready to use and without having to temporarily unplug something else ... like your wife's electric plugin to make the place smell good (uh?).
And what about this? When you are trying to find the right spot on a DVD, why isn't there a switch that would move the reader arm of the DVD player over the DVD to the right or left with an onscreen analog image. You push the lever right and a line comes up on screen showing the position of the arm on the DVD and simultaneously it moves to the right (or left if you push it the other way). Let go of the lever and it plays whatever is there. Wouldn't this make it easier to navigate through a DVD.
While I'm pissed off ... why don't the now obsolete VHS tape machines show the numbers on the screen while you're fast forwarding or rewinding? The only way to tell where you are on the tape is to guess based on the whining sound of the motor. Cripe! And this was never fixed for all the years that the tape players were in service. There are some sick puppies in the ranks of the electronics engineers I guess.
Yahoo is getting really good at spam detection this past week. I usually get about 200 emails per day. They usually let slip by about 15 or so which I then deleted. This week ... miraculously ... I got zero on Friday ... nada on Saturday and ... uno on Sunday. I guess I can recommend their service to my readers.
I think most people have given up on doing their own email. I gave mine over to Yahoo a few months ago when my spam rate got to about 100 per day. I couldn't manually handle it anymore. Yahoo is also much faster than my web site email even with a few ads slapped on.
12/13/35 ---------------- Leptoprin
There is a new diet thing to die for. Leptoprin promises huge weight losses for ONLY $153 per bottle. I visited their website and can confidently say it's purely a scam. The info is incredibly sparse and no indication of chemical contents is given. These conmen are pitching what would obviously be a dangerous drug over the counter hoping that the desperate fatties will gobble it up at 153 bucks a pop and they can make off with the loot before the FDA or some other federal agency puts them out of business.
Not to worry. I will bet you my teeth that Leptoprin is a harmless pill made of sugar or some other non-threatening substance. It's the money ... stupid. ;o)
12/09/35 ---------------- portable DVD players
Yesterday in Best Buy I was looking at a DVD player (the small ones around 7") and it occurred to me that I have never seen one with a TV tuner in it. Why?!
A Casio handheld color TV with a 2.5 inch costs about $100. So, a TV tuner is like dirt. Why not put one in the bigger DVD player so that the user could watch local TV wherever he is? Instead of costing $299 for a 7" (on sale), it would cost maybe $330. There must be some "stinking" marketing reason for not putting the TV with the DVD player.
12/08/35 ---------------- Good Use for LCD TVs
The new small LCD TVs (at about 17"-22") are too small to use in the living room but have an excellent use in the bedroom where much TV is watched. Because of High Definition you can now sit much closer to the TV. So what is needed is a mechanism to bring the TV closer to the viewer who's reclining on the bed. As it is now, typically, a small CRTV is on a stand about 12 feet away from most bedroom viewers. We'd like to bring it in to about three feet away. This can be accomplished with a simple "boom" system because these new TVs are also quite light. Look for such a thing very soon if not available already.
12/5/35 ---------------- Being on "Hold"
Why, when we call some big company, do we have to wade through as many as a dozen selections only to be put on hold listening to music we don't like while we wait for one of those operators who are busy helping other customers due to "heavier than normal" traffic on their phone lines. Why is the traffic always "heavier than normal". Why is my time worth less than the cost of a few more operators?
There is a solution.
Just after the music starts, a recording breaks in ... "If you are unable to continue to wait for the next available operator, press "8" and record a message concerning your request. When finished press "8" again and you will be given a issue number. Write it down and call back at a later time to either talk to a real operator or retrieve a recorded answer to your inquiry by pressing "9" then the issue number then "9" again. We hope that this will adequately serve your needs. If not please continue to hold for the next available operator."
Really, would this be asking too much?
11/27/35 ---------------- Digital Camera
All I want for Christmas is a digital camera with flash that I can put in my pocket ... the size of a credit card. It has to play MP3 music as well, have an 8 hour battery life, about 3 gigs of memory, a TV tuner, voice recorder, telephone, GPS hookup, 2x3 inch color screen ... and ... "it gotta' to have a beeg teets!".
Well, we're not that far around ... yet. So, I'd settle for a pocket camera, w/flash that also records sound ... in this way :
You turn it on and it begins to record sound (with a decent mic) for about 10 seconds ... then ... it records over that continuously so that it has the last ten seconds of sound in memory. When you take a picture, it saves those ten seconds and the next ten in a file associated with the picture. Then, when you view the picture on your computer or TV, the software automatically plays the sound bite with the picture.
I don't think digital camera manufacturers really grasp the importance of associating sound with sight. A camcorder does this allright but they are big and clunky and you can't carry one around with you all the time. You can do that with a pocket camera. I have a Radio Shack credit card size camera but it's useless indoors (no flash) and can't record sound. Hell, I'd settle for low res grayscale pics if I could associate sound with the pic in the above manner. Please ... why can't you manufacturers get it together!!
11/25/35 ---------------- Gawkers
Gawkers driving by accidents get a bad name unjustly. They have no choice but to stop or slow down ... after all ... there's an accident there. It generally takes up one or two lanes funneling traffic into less road than a typical rush hour was designed for. As soon as someone puts on the brakes (usually the guy behind the accident) the slowdown starts and if there is enough traffic ... it won't go away even after the accident is cleaned up. So why blame people for doing what comes naturally? Whey want to see what's happened and ... how does that relate to "me"?
This is one of the main ways that we learn to be better drivers. I've seen four dead bodies in the last 12 years and hundreds of wrecked cars and some real time accidents. I don't wish to join them so I am more careful. How many dead bodies has a teenager seen? Probably less since he's not been driving that long. If he'd seen what I have, he'd be less prone to believe in the immortality that he feels.
But what about the cars on the other side of the median? Why do they slow down? Clearly, they see flashing lights and don't know what to make of the upcoming situation ... so ... they slow down as they are supposed to do. And as one hits the brake the one behind him does so also but just a little bit harder and the whole road (both sides) comes to a halt.
Gawkers don't cause tie ups. They just look at them as they are interested in unusual things in their environment. Could a cop at the scene wave motorists by saying "Move along. There's nothing to see here." when there is a flaming car and a pickup truck upside down with a headless torso hanging out of one window and a screaming, bloody mother holding her dead baby out the other?
11/24/35 ---------------- A Puzzle
Wimms gave us a good link to this puzzle.
It took me a full five minutes to figure it out. I got stuck in the Boolean trap that the puzzle is designed to take advantage of. Once you give up the logic of A=B=C, less than and more than ... you can go to the "quantification stage" and solve the damn thing post haste. Or, alternatively, you can just print it out and do the empirical thing ... but that's hardly a good intellectual exercise.
Most people get trapped the same way. It's much easier to figure things out by symmetries and Boolean relationships than to cypher them out mathematically ... but sometimes that's the only way to go. So, when you're stuck ... go to the "mathresses". Tell 'em Don Corleone told you.
11/24/35 ---------------- Jacko
What is more scary? Michael Jackson't visage made up as a vampire in Thriller ... or ... MJ's real face circa 2003 ?
Honestly, I would be more afraid of the "real" Michael. What a mess this guy has come to. It makes you wonder. Was it the good side of him that kept him going all these years in spite of what his father did to him ... or, was it the struggle with the "dark side" that that drove him to the heights.
I had the idea once that if life were completely fair, we would mature to about 25 years then stop aging and ... our appearance would gradually change to reflect our innermost estimate of ourselves. That has come true in Jackson's case. He has become what his inner self has proclaimed him to be ... a monster.
There's a good possibility that he will take his own life soon. He's ripe for it and there is no way for him to regain his former self ... maybe a high fall from some structure in Disney Land ... a fitting swan dive. Too bad. This kid sure had (not talent) but rather something much better ... he had great skill acquired from the labored practice of a perfectionist. I can admire and identify with that.
11/17/35 ---------------- The Cur Wash
Why can't people take their dog to a place like the quarter car wash to clean 'em up? How difficult would it be to make a pen like this?
You pay a quarter (extra for hot wax) and wash the dog with some dog soap and brush while he's held by his leash which is fastened to a hook on the "cage". Then you move him to the next place and rinse him off ... then blowdry after he wiggles the water off as best he can. The front fence part should really be plastic so the owner doesn't get too wet. Simple, cheap, humane and no mess at home.
You wouldn't need such a thing for cats because you can just throw them in the clothes washer in the basement, eh?
Why doesn't the NFL-AFL use a more humane form of measuring yardage? Why must we suffer the pain of another time out while officials drag that stupid chain across the turf to discover the obvious? Get on with the game knuckleheads !
Use a laser mounted in the stick that marks a first down.
This is just the standard chain thingy with an added dimension. So if the laser doesn't work, it can still be used in the regular fashion. It consists of a cheap laser with a button to activate it (like you buy in WalMart for $10.95). When a measurement is required the chain guy hits the button and a red laser beam shoots down the shaft and hits two mirrors arranged so that half the laser light goes out across the field and the other half to the other stick which has a target on it.
The chain guy lines up the laser with the target on the other marker which ensures that the other laser beam component goes across the field at exactly a 90o angle. The laser is at the height of the football's nose. The ref on the field puts his leg in the beam path to check the true position of the beam if it doesn't hit the ball. You get the rest, eh?
This wouldn't work on fields with a "hump" in the middle to facilitate drainage but most NFL fields are flat anyway. High school fields are domed and maybe a few college fields but there are workarounds here as well.
How much would this cost? Hmmmmm ... about $50 bucks more than a regular chain set I'd guess.
After defragmenting my hard drive last night, I have come to the momentous conclusion that the OS is designed to defragment the hard drive with possible malice-aforethought. I have a 60G drive. It's almost all a desert wasteland. Why is that open space not used when a group of clusters is too small to keep the file contiguous. Why not put it in the middle of the desert and keep it intact? Then, when it came time to defrag, I could see that my drive was used properly and just filled up.
As it is now, what appears to happen is that the first sections are positioned at the beginning with some sort of probability weight so that fragmentation is assured ... and ... this assures you that your disk will screw up before you trade in your comp for a new one.
Or, is there something in that desert that they don't want you to know about? Is that where all MS spyware is kept?
And while we're at it ... once again ... why can I not surf the sites offline that I downloaded while online? Why do I have to be connected to see what I already have on my hard drive? At the rate I surf, I could easily keep every static page I ever download for the three years or so that I will have this computer.
Ebtx Home Page