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Octoberfest Barbie

OctoberfestBarbieIf you like beer and you like barbies I guess this is the thing for you.  Furthermore, anything that encourages children to drink is excellent.  I mean why wouldn’t we want one of the biggest role models for America’s young girls to endorse a beer swigging hullabaloo.  Price Tag $38.88

Buy it here

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas SDCC Jack Skellington Othello Doll (18 Inch)

JackThere’s nothing cooler than Nightmare Before Christmas swag, Nuff Said. Get your hands on this for a mere $41.99.

Buy it here

Nascar Barbie

NascarBarbieFinally, if barbie wasn’t white trash enough already, get your Nascar Barbie.  Cleverly marketed towards the tons of 3- 9 year old girls who love Barbies and Nascar.  They must have sold at least 8 of these things.  Price Tag: $25.99

Buy it here

Here is one of the new Windows 7 advertisements, I saw it last night on TV. While there will always be some haters out there, no matter what Microsoft does, I found this ad to be entertaining and compelling. Furthermore, I think that the average person will find the ad to be compelling and entertaining, which is really more important than what I think. I know my wife liked the ad, and she is definitely not a techie. Enjoy.

Many people have the ability to cut and paste code from tutorials and forums, its really not that hard to figure out.   What really separates and a terrible program from an excellent one is what’s done before one hits the computer.

Gathering Requirements

One of the most important aspects of creating a high quality computer program is planning.  You will save time, heart ache, and humiliation if you spend time planning your program. The first portion of planning, assuming you already have an idea, is finding out who your target audience is.  Often  your target audience will be yourself which makes it fairly simple to gather requirements, but it can include everyone on the internet, your dad, people that like music, or any number of people.

Once you have discovered your audience you need to find out what they want out of your program. For simplicity lets awesome the program you are working on is a calculator.  It’s fair to assume that your audience would like all the normal functions of an average calculator numbers, addition, subtraction, etc. If your audience for this calculator is extreme nerds, they may provide a set of requirements that involves deep mathematical functions and the ability to have 20 digits of accuracy.  If your audience is the elderly or children, they may provide requirements like a large UI, easy to find buttons, and user help.  All audiences have things in common and they also specific needs, a programmer really can’t please everyone.   If you can gather specific requirement from a specific group than you are well on your way.  There are many techniques for gathering good requirements which I will not go into here, but the first step is realizing you need to do it.

Features

After you have gathered your requirements you will have to decide which ones you want to implement and which ones you don’t.  In business these decisions are often made by deciding how much time, money, and man power you want to expend on each feature and  which feature is more important.  So the most import features go first, but the tier two or three features will often under go cost analysis the ones with lower cost and higher importance will be implemented, the others will not.  There are many metrics that are used in this decision.  For or purposes you will mainly have to decide what you and your audience want the most.  If you are reading this, I am guessing you don’t have much of a budget and you probably don’t have too many people working for you.

When I work on a program this is how I decide which features to implement.  After I have gathered requirements, I create a list of things the program users cannot survive without, and then I create another list of secondary features.  The secondary features are thing that I will only work when I have completed all of the primary features in my program.  When choosing secondary features I like to give them a time value and an importance value.  So, if a feature will take 1 hour to write and has an importance value of 5 out of 10, and another will take too hours and has an importance value of 5,  I will choose the first task.  Which task you choose depends on how much free time you have, your skill set, how you determine importance, and how much value you attribute to any particular feature.

The primary list of features that users can not live without should have little variation from one person to another, every calculator needs to have certain buttons and features.  The list of secondary features will vary widely, because it requires value judgments.

to be continued …  Next up is Feature Planning, Structure, and  Prototyping

Yogourmet Multi Electric Yogurt Maker with CBA Starter

yogurtmate

The Yogourmet is exactly what it sounds like.  An easy way to make your own yogurt and other curd products, from the comfort of your very own home.  This is better than just customizing your yogurt for that perfect breakfast, it’s like a science project.  I  love this idea and it would be a fun thing to do with kids.  On the downside I have no idea if it would stink up your house ?  And at $64.08 its a tad bit on the expensive side, but if you like yogurt enough it may be worth it.

Find it Here: Yogourmet

blu-rayIf there are 3 things you have got to own on High-Def these are not it.  I have no idea what Amazon was thinking selling these three movies together as a comedy bundle and at the amazingly ludicrous price of $60.99, maybe Amazon will take a crap in a box and sell that too!  Thanks Amazon

Blu-ray Comedy Bundle (Simpsons the Movie / Me, Myself and Irene / Meet the Spartans) – (Amazon.com Exclusive) [Blu-ray]

Being lazy isn’t easy, well ya it’s pretty easy, but if you want to maximize your laziness you will need a few tools.  If you want to be at the top of your lazy game, and god willing one day win the Olympic gold for laziness, you will need all the greatest technologies developed for your stupid lazy self.

The Hover Round

hoveround_mpv5If you ever want to get to the top of the lazy game, you have absolutely got to minimize the amount of walking you do.  Why your use your legs when you can pay for something that will move your lazy body around for you ?  Some major pluses of the hoveround include it’s wonderful turning compatabilities, smooth ride, and probably goes faster than you can walk.  So you won’t only be preventing the needless effor of walking, but you will also be saving time.


The Lazy Persons Handbook

lazyhandbookI know that reading is hard, but this book will help you to maximize your lazyness. This book offers stripped down easy to read advice to for almost any situation you find yourself in.  From Weight loos to marriage advice this book will help to you out lazy homer simpson.

Buy it Here:  The Lazy Persons Handbook

The Laziest Chair Possible

ergonomic-workstation_g1yk8_17340This chair was featured on gizmodo and it was about the laziest looking chair I could find that really exists.  With this chair you have to the ablililty to compute, game, watch tv, and any thing else you can do from the comfort of your normal chair or bad.  This seat even reclines fully enough that sleeping could be quite comfortable.  The only downside I can see to this chair is that you have to go the restroom and it doesn’t have a beer dispenser.

From Gizmodo Zero Gee Computer Workstation

Professional Beer Retriever/ Mans Best Friend

Seriously no matter how lazy you are, you will need a companion when your wife leaves your for being such a lazy bastard.  What better companion than a dog. Dogs will never judge you and some will even get you a beer.  Note: Dogs already trained to retrieve your beer will probably cost extra.


Nicotine Patch

nicoLazy people smoke, actually lot’s of lazy people smoke.  However, the effort involved in a lighting a cigarette and then actually moving your hand to your mouth is too much effort.  A nicotine patch allows you to simply stick it on and enjoy.  Not too mention you get rid of that terrible smokers breath, and that gives the added lazy bonus of not having to brush your teeth so much.

Get it Here: Nicotive Patch

Robotic Cleaning

roomba_discovery

Last but not least is some robots to do your dirty work for you.  There is nothing lazy people hate more than cleaning and these days there for many of your cleaning needs.  iRobot provides robots for vacuuming, sweeping, gutter cleaning, pool cleaning, and I am sure there will be more to come.  Most of these bots come in affordable prices and are easy to setup and use.  There are also robotic lawn mowers, but I hear they don’t work well enough to buy at this point.

iRobot Products

As a blogger and general tech nerd I could find infinite ways to increase my lazy productivity and this blog post could be a never cavalcade of obscene lethargy.  If you have suggestions for being lazy. Drop em in the comments

In the most recent episode of TWIST Jason asked listeners/watchers to review the episode and the winner would get a $500 apple gift card.  If that isn’t incentive I don’t know what is.

Content:

If you are interested in entrepreneurship and company start-up this is the podcast for you, as the name This Week in Startups implies.  I found episode 13 to be full of useful information not only for people in business, but also for anyone that is interested how businesses work and are started.  I also found the advice given on how to develop ideas especially useful.  To be honest there are currently tons of resources to learn about getting angel investments and how to start up companies, but there is a huge void in how one should develop their ideas into a business.  I believe this is where TWIST and particularly episode 13 really shines.   The information shared is information that you can find no where else.   The audience interaction is also very unique.  Jason allows us normal people to call in with ideas and has the ability to gently and concisely provide helpful feedback.

Problem areas for content in this episode include a bit of rambling, shear amount of information, and keeping the callers on track.  The rambling wouldn’t be a huge issue for a podcast that is only 15 – 30 minutes, but episode 13 clocked in at a little over 2 hours.  For most people it’s extremely difficult to endure anything over an hour and then adding non show related content almost makes you want to turn it off at some points in the show.  The show also included too many different segments, it could easily be broken down into three or four podcasts; Audience Q & A,  guest interview, industry news, and Jason just talking about stuff.   I am sure if one wanted to they could break it down even further.   Finally, I found some of the audience calls, including the shark tank, to be slightly annoying.  Especially, the last guy that would not shut about vivolve, but I guess since I remember the name he did a good job…

Production Values

The audio quality and music were really great, there is nothing worse than listening to a podcast with pops and crackles interjecting ever so often to take you out of the experience.  I like the music choice and the little insights from Tyler jingle.  I did not like the editing; this podcast could have been far more enjoyable with better editing choices. Future episodes of TWIST should edit out a lot of the nonsense and mistakes that occurred throughout episode 13.  Editing can provide a huge benefit to overall  quality by breaking the segments up into well defined units and adding more professional bumpers and jingles with better transitions.

Verdict

While from a technical prospective TWIST can’t compete with juggernauts like the Totally Rad Show or TWIT,  Episode 13 and TWIST in general has information that can be found no where else.  It is invaluable for anyone that would like to know about entrepreneurship, business, and managing their ideas into fruition.   Even thought TWIST is apparently profitable, it is a community service.  The information and advice that Jason gives could cost a fortune if garnered from another source, but Jason is basically providing anyone this information for free.

Check out TWIST 13

Not a whole hell of a lot happened this week, but here are some pretty interesting blog posts. I hope you enjoy.

LifeHacker: FotoSketcher turns your photos into paintings + other stuff

Dvorak.org/blog: Pink Saves boob job

Consumerist: Collection Agency send 4 letters to collect  $.04 Common Sense died a long time ago

National Geographic: Company creates font to save on ink, it works

Scientific American: The Origin of Computing

Scientific American: First “Power Tower” lights up California

Google Wave will start allowing a very select few to test it’s new e-mail replacement system, and your local favorite tech blogger has no doubt hyped the holy living crap out of this.  However, Google is only allowing 100,000 people in the program and with about 3 billion internet users ( maybe more) world wide your chances of being selected are very slim. To get your feet wet into the ideas and concepts of Google Wave try some of the services below.

Campfire

Campfire is a business oriented solution that shares more  in common with Wave than any other service that I have come across.  It is basically a chat room on steroids. The most prominent features is the ability to upload pictures and documents directly into the chat window.  This allows anyone chatting to see and comment on the file which you have uploaded.  It also stores and keeps all your chat logs hosted on it’s website, so you can come back later and review.  The only thing it doesn’t do, is send emails and really who does that anymore ? On the downside campfire is a service that will cost you a few dollars there are variable pricing plans and a free trial if you want to take Campfire for a spin.

Pro: Professional look and seem less integration between pictures and chat

Cons: Subscription Fees!

http://campfirenow.com/

Stixy

Stixy really takes the Google Wave ideas to heart. It is a collaborative work environment that allows you to share, pictures,documents, and make comments via sticky notes.   All in all it can be used in very similar ways as campfire, but the chat is a lot less fluid and more like a message board.  The look and feel are something very similar to an online cork board.  You can save boards for later and start a new board any time you want. If you were planning on using this for work I would forget it. Stixy really seems like something your kids would be playing with.

Pro’s: It really looks awesome and is super fun to play with.

Con’s: It looks like a kids toy and is probably not good actual productivity.

http://www.stixy.com

Thinkature

Is basically Stixy for the business world.  It is very professional looking, allows pictures to be uploaded, documents, diagramming, free hand drawing, and voice chat. This all around package really seems like a productivity monster and would allow any form of collaboration that you would find in Google Wave, plus a little.  The only downside being that it isn’t tide directly into your email and there isn’t a wiki feature.

Pros:  Business Look and feel, Voice Chat

Cons:  Organizations of boards feels a unintuitive.

http://www.thinkature.com/

Conclusions:

All though none of these solutions offers all the same features as Google Wave there sure is a lot to love about all these web apps.  For the average user the Wave is a long way off and we want some thing now.  By far my favorite app to use was Thinkature it’s free and it’s awesome.  The hype built up around Wave will inevitably be a let down when you finally do get around to using it. So, go enjoy something similar while you still have that reality distortion field tightly in your grasp.

In every mans life there is a time when he doesn’t discover the best the web has to offer, and for those there is the best of the blogs.  We are your back up and wing man taking you to the blogging stratosphere.  (Editors Note: I am always Iceman, in top gun references)

Slashdot: Standard OS for Robots

Seeking Alpha: Bestbuy bought napster

New York Post: Best buy will start selling vinyl and no more CDs ?

Gadget Mario: Insane Super Mario AI

Geekologie: Planet Orbits Sun Backwards

Extralife: Price is Right Worst Bid Ever

Scientific American:  Cooked Results: Modern Toolmaker Uses Fire to Solve 72,000-Year-Old Mystery

Scientific American: Tasting the Light: Device to let blind see with tongue