May 11, 2006
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google — Prophet or Pollyanna?
He's quoted in today's Washington Post as follows: "Internet search will remain the company's focus for the next 50 years."
Let's see now — Google began in September, 1998, so that would make it eight years old this fall.
And Schmidt's forecasting what Google will be like in the year 2056.
Maybe he took an Earth Capsule or two along with his Kool-Aid.
Because the chance that there will be a company called Google — or that anyone will even know what it did back in the day — when the year 2056 rolls around is vanishingly small, to my way of thinking.
And you know my
See-Through Leakproof Tote
Look at the picture above: what do you see?
Ideally, you see your stuff at the end of plane trip still sealed tightly in its moisture-proof, leakproof (unless it breaks — duh) transparent pouch that's "Airport Security Friendly."
Whatever that means.
From the website:
- Dry Case Set
Don't let leaky toiletries ruin your clothes.
Get a Dry Case!
This transparent, 100% leakproof pouch can be used to keep toiletries securely contained or small valuables (camera, binoculars, passport) dry.
Its patented SealLock closure is guaranteed watertight, even when submersed in water.
Webbed carrying handle.
Includes 3 sizes: S (11½" x 9" — 2 oz); M (14" x 10½" — 2½ oz); L (15" x 12" — 3 oz).
You can also buy them individually for $14.85, $16.85 and $19.85 respectively.
Earth Capsule: 'Immortality on the cheap' — How does $1 sound? Is $1 good for you?
Guy Gugliotta wrote in the May 8 Washington Post about the latest thing in time capsules.
Long story short: For $1 Earth Capsule will let you write a message to the future, then have it sent electronically to repositories in over 150 cities around the world, to be opened in 50 years.
Here's the full story.
- A New Take on the Old Time Capsule Concept
Ever thought about writing down something really profound and putting it in a vault so that when your biographer opens it 50 years from now, people will say, "Gee, Gugliotta was even smarter than we thought."
Or "not as dumb as we thought," or "liked peanuts better than almonds," or "really was a space alien -- look, he says so right here!"
This is the principle behind Earth Capsule, less than 2 months old, and only operational since mid-April.
For $1 you can write a message for posterity and file it in an electronic time capsule to be sent to repositories in more than 150 cities around the world and opened in 50 years.
Or you can do a message-in-the-bottle routine and have your communique sealed up in a waterproof cartridge and dumped into the ocean or lake at one of 44 locations, taking your chances on having it wash up at Rehoboth next week, or at Punta Arenas, Chile, 300 or 400 years hence.
Earth Capsule will also upload music, images or documents at $1.95 for the first megabyte, $1 for each additional megabyte.
And a portion of each fee can be allotted to charities that are partnering with Earth Capsule.
Whether this ultimately works remains to be seen.
Earth Capsule has been "doubling our customer base every couple of days," said Jason Ressler, one of the founding partners, but he acknowledged that after only a month "this is not saying much."
Still, Earth Capsule offers immortality on the cheap, which, as theologians have known for many years, is hard to turn down.
"People like to save things," Ressler said in a telephone interview.
"We felt like the best way to preserve stuff was to use the Internet. The Web has socialized communications in terms of news, and we wanted to socialize it in terms of history."
Ressler and co-founder Evan Strome, both 35, are New York-based writers and filmmakers. Ashley Rindsberg, the third member of the triumvirate, is a 24-year-old electronics wiz who put the Web site together and figured out the technology.
Earth Capsule uses "HD-ROM" metal disks to store microprinted information that can be read with a magnifying glass.
It is somewhat low-tech in today's terms, "like a supermicrofiche," Ressler said, but the disks "are able to preserve stuff for 1,000 years," which is what Earth Capsule is after.
Ressler said the company plans to collect uploads for a year, then send them to repositories in cities around the world, or pack them in aluminum canisters and drop them in Lake Nicaragua, the middle of the Indian Ocean and 42 other bodies of water, your choice.
By the time this happens, Earth Capsule hopes to have trust agreements with organizations in all the repository cities.
The company is contacting historical societies, consulates, city halls and other groups to set up the infrastructure.
The idea is that these entities, supervised by a board of trustees set up by Earth Capsule, will sit on the information for 50 years, then open it up.
Meanwhile, Earth Capsule will be uploading more stuff, preparing more disks and sending them off to repositories for later grand openings.
It is at this point that doubts begin to creep in.
Ressler said Earth Capsule is negotiating with potential trustees and expects to have the international repository network set up in time for distribution in 2007.
Among the venues: Baghdad; Tehran; and Kigali, Rwanda.
He is confident that governments in some of the more remote and less congenial spots will keep their hands off the disks.
"People are unreasonable on issues but not unreasonable on things like this," he said.
Maybe, but in the early going, Ressler said, Earth Capsule has unexpectedly become something of a "political football," with depositors stashing away their views pro and con on the Bush administration and the Iraq war, among other subjects.
The early clientele also includes a lot of young people, such as the 18-year-old Singaporean who urged friends on her blog to file to Earth Capsule: "So cool, right... imagine yourself writing a message about yourself in the present... and read it 50 years later again... it will be so funny and memorable."
Maybe for her, but for others who can do the math, posterity is the ultimate audience.
Ressler finds the van Gogh concept seductive.
True, Earth Capsule doesn't do paintings, but think manuscripts or music.
They may hate your stuff now, but in 50 years it'll be going crazy at Barnes & Noble.
Why suffer the abuse today?
Also, Ressler suggested that filmmakers and multimedia types operating on a shoestring could use all the music, poetry and imagery they want, then, if they can endure the wait, salt the masterpiece away with Earth Capsule for 50 years until it can emerge unencumbered by copyrights.
All of this, however, suggests that the depositor will be around long enough to reap the benefits of early genius, or important enough to someone who will take the trouble to peek inside the capsule when the time comes.
So if things aren't working out right now, hang on, or, as Earth Capsule suggests on its Web site (www.earthcapsule.com), "Say something new, and let it get old."
You never know what might happen.
Hey — what's that music?
No, me laapse.
So not sorry.
So obvious it took until now to invent it.
From the website:
- Shake, Stir, Rattle And Roll Veggies In This Incredible Grill Wok!
Add this wok to your grill accessories collection and you can sell the kitchen stove!
Made of metal with a non-stick coating, it has a perforated bottom and sloped sides that allow even heat flow and great flavor.
Prevents small foods such as shrimp, scallops and diced veggies from falling through.
Unique fold-up locking handle gives you complete control when stir-frying, flipping, shaking and more.
Measures 12" dia.
There are two styles: one has star-shaped holes in both the sides and the bottom (above) and costs $19.99; the other is the same size, has round holes in the bottom only (below)
and costs $24.99.
Alas, he didn't win.
But that doesn't mean you can't.
What are bubble rings, you ask?
Who better to answer your question than the inventor himself, who writes:
- What are bubble rings?
Bubble rings are like smoke rings except they exist under water
and they are made of pure, clean air instead of smoke.
Smoke rings and bubble rings are both examples of what are known as vortex rings.
Some people spell it bubblering instead of bubble ring, by the way.
Whiteis notes on his website that "I'm looking for that one phone call from a potential investor or partner that can help me get my invention on the market."
His email is David-RM@whiteis.com
Below, Whiteis and his RingMachine,
waiting for you to send him the email that will make both of you richer than you ever dreamed possible.
[via John Kelly and the Washington Post]
What is it? — Episode 2: Which came first, the [IKEA] chicken or the [Garden Design] egg?
Last evening I received the following email from reader Liran Okanon:
I've been reading your site for a couple of years now and I just wanted to say that it's great.
BUT, while I was reading your post a few days ago I saw that you had an error.
In http://www.bookofjoe.com/2006/05/what_is_it.html and http://www.bookofjoe.com/2006/05/cell_phone_led_.html you said that the watering can can only be bought from Seattle, that's where you are mistaken.
It can be purchased ALL over the world through the lovely IKEA retailer, http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?topcategoryId=15573&catalogId=10103&storeId=12&productId=11257&langId=-1&parentCats=15573*15714*15717 and for only 1.99!!!
I just thought I'd pass on the info.
Keep up the good work.
Liran's been with me for years — I'm humbled and flattered.
But I digress.
As is my wont, I told the crack research team to drop everything — which isn't saying a whole lot, really — and investigate the information furnished by Liran, who was somehow able to find, without the huge salary and benefits afforded my team members, information they appear to have missed completely.
It's really hard to get good help these days, I must say.
Hey — wait a minute... I just thought up a great title for a song that could be nominated for best song at next year's Oscars if I play my cards right: "It's hard in here for a simp."
It turns out that IKEA does indeed offer (below)
what appears, on first inspection, to be the very same stylish watering can I featured on May 7 (top).
But take a second, closer look.
1) The handle of the IKEA iteration doesn't appear to extend down to the level of the base but, rather, terminates a few inches above ground.
2) The curves of the IKEA version are different: instead of that sharp bend at the apex of the handle-basin confluence there's a smooth curve.
Having said that, the IKEA model indeed costs only $1.99 as opposed to the $4.95 of the other version, and is available in IKEA stores everywhere — though not via the internet.
Bonus: IKEA's comes in blue
and a very nice light green
in addition to red.
Real Men Swing Pink Bats
At least they will this coming Sunday, May 14, which happens to be Mother's Day.
For the very first time in the history of Major League Baseball, pink bats have been approved for official game use.
"They're part of a weeklong program to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation," according to yesterday's Washington Post story.
The bats (above) were dyed at the Louisville Slugger factory, from which they normally emerge in shades of brown, black, red or white.
According to the Post, "Derek Jeter, David Eckstein and Marcus Giles are among the dozens of players who intend to try them Sunday."
Nominated for a 2006 bookofjoe Product Name Award™.
From the website:
- Loaf Lock®
Tired of wiry twist ties and hard-to-grasp plastic?
Wide grip handles make these clips easy to open — and release — to keep an airtight grip on bread bags, crackers, chips, muffins, tortillas.
Each measures 1" x 1" x 2-7/8".
A set of three in assorted colors is $3.99.