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May 29, 2007

bookofjoe — As Seen On TV

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Guess what?

Turns out the famous ad phrase "As Seen On TV" and the familiar logo are in the public domain.

It says so right on page 6B of today's USA Today.

Sure, AsSeenOnTV.com is owned by Daniel Fasano of Rochester, New York, who bought it for $5 million in 1997, but in my league that's chump change.

The site had sales of $5 million last year and offers 1,400 products, not all of which have actually been "seen on TV."

So not only are they playing in the financial bush leagues, but they're inflating their wares' wherewithall as well.

Say the final four words of the above sentence five times quickly without a mistake and you qualify for the bookofjoe AsSeenOnTV sweepstakes.

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Away we go...!

May 29, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kitchen-in-a-Sphere

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From the Italian company Sheer

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comes the carbon fiber structure above and below.

When it's chow time the upper half of the sphere,
which contains lighting and an odor extraction unit,

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rises electronically to reveal a double sink,

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four burners and

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three bottle coolers housed within the lower half.

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But wait — there's more!

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Also hidden within the bottom portion are

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a retractable table and two storage trolleys.

Inquire within.

May 29, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

bookofjoe loves Angela Gunn's Tech Space Blog at USAToday.com

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I mean, if you were me wouldn't you?

There, in very first line of the first sentence of the latest entry in her entertaining blog is yours truly.

Thanks, Angela!

May 29, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Magnetizer/Demagnetizer

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From the website:

    Magnetizer/Demagnetizer

    One of the most useful items I have in my "bag of tricks."

    We've offered this for over ten years and it continues to be a popular item.

    For times when I want to have my screwdriver magnetized so that I don't drop a precious fastener down where I can't reach it.

    I also like to magnetize my files so that iron filings don't get into places they're not supposed to be (oil lines, etc.).

    Magnetize and demagnetize screwdriver blades, tweezers, etc. with a quick pass through the openings.

$8.99.

May 29, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stop Press: Jimmy Buffett and Warren Buffett not related!

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Just in from Fortune magazine's website, in yesterday's story by Matthew Boyle, the news that the two Buffetts (above) do indeed share a common ancestor — from 10,000 years ago, before last names even existed.

And you can bet that when last names were invented, Buffett probably wasn't one of the first taken.

Here's the Fortune article.

    The Buffett Mystery

    Are Jimmy and Warren related? And how did Google co-founder Sergey Brin's wife get involved? Fortune's Matthew Boyle reports on the resolution of a mystery.

    Did you hear the one about Warren Buffett, Jimmy Buffett, Google billionaire Sergey Brin, and his wife's startup firm? Stay with us, because this story gets complicated.

    In a May 22 SEC filing, Google disclosed that it had invested $3.9 million in a heretofore unknown biotech startup that just so happens to be run by the new wife of Google co-founder Brin.

    But did you know that the firm, 23andMe, which decodes DNA to help people understand their ancestry (the name comes from our 23 paired chromosomes), recently submitted a report that definitively answered a question Fortune posed eight years ago this month — to wit, Are Jimmy and Warren Buffett related?

    Before we reveal the answer, here's some badly needed background: Fortune's 1999 piece, while noting that both Jimmy and Warren play stringed instruments, stick to their guns, and are filthy rich, could not prove any definitive link, save for some possible common ancestors who lived in a former penal colony in the South Pacific.

    But the question continued to linger, especially since the Oracle of Omaha and the Minstrel of Margaritaville have long been fans of each other. Jimmy even made a surprise appearance on stage at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting on May 5, singing "Wasted Away Again in Berkshire Hathaway-ville," to the delight and amazement of those present.

    Earlier this year two letters came over Buffett's (the Oracle's) transom asking him to submit to a DNA analysis. One was from Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe's co-founder. She didn't mention that they had previously met at Herb Allen's annual Sun Valley, Idaho, retreat — she was with Brin — and even after Google's (Charts, Fortune 500) recently announced investment in 23andMe, Buffett had no idea it was Brin's intended he had been dealing with. (Wojcicki's romance with Brin, by the way, was reportedly sparked after her sister rented out her garage to him and his partner, Larry Page, as office space for a little search engine company they were hatching.)

    Brin and Wojcicki (pronounced wo-JES-ki) were married in early May, on the same weekend as the Berkshire (Charts, Fortune 500) shareholder meeting. (See, we told you this was complicated.)

    About two months ago Warren and Jimmy submitted DNA to 23andMe. (Warren "just kept spitting into a little receptacle, and then we FedExed it. Not very elegant," says his assistant. Jimmy did the same.)

    When the results came back a month later, Wojcicki — a 33-year-old Yale grad and former health-care industry analyst — and her associate Joanna Mountain called Warren from 23andMe's offices, just half a mile from Google's Mountain View, Calif., campus, and broke the news that he need not include Jimmy in his will. In fact, "I'm as closely related to you as Jimmy is," said Mountain, the head of 23andMe's ancestry product line and a former professor of anthropological genetics at Stanford. (By the way, if you'd like to join Wojcicki's team, they're hiring like mad.)

    As it turns out, Jimmy and Warren do have common ancestors, but you have to go back more than 10,000 years to find them. That's before surnames, folks. "Bottom line: We're not related," Warren wrote to his sister Doris, the family genealogist, who opened this whole can of worms many years ago.

    Warren Buffett's ten-page DNA report, which he shared with Fortune, also revealed that his paternal ancestors hail from northern Scandinavia, while his mother's side most likely has roots in Iberia or Estonia.

    Sadly, the report gave no inkling of the whereabouts of that lost shaker of salt.

May 29, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Solar-Powered Electric Scooter

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Don Dunklee (below), a Rite-Aid store manager in Davison, Michigan, built it.

According to Bob Parks, in his book "Makers:All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things in Backyards, Garages, and Basements," it took 80 hours and cost $3,300.

"Every day the owner drives it ten miles round trip to and from his job. During the commute, the four 30-watt solar panels fold neatly to the side; when he arrives at the drugstore parking lot, they unfurl and soak up the rays like a big prairie sunflower."

He notes that his kids, ages 18, 20, and 22, "don't want to be seen with it."

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Dunklee's made the plans available here in case you'd like to build your own.

May 29, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gareth Pugh is my new favorite designer

I happened on his Spring/Summer 2007 collection show (above) on the Beauty & Fashion Channel yesterday and was enchanted.

So strange and wonderful.

One fashion journalist commenting on the clothes remarked, "Of course you're not going to wear a patent leather bodysuit to the beach, but that's not the point."

Precisely.

Pugh's MySpace is a total knockout, with all manner of strange, wonderful people present and accounted for.

You could make your way in the fashion world quite easily simply by spending time there and pressing the {virtual} flesh.

May 29, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bill Gates + Steve Jobs — Live, unrehearsed and unscripted

It happens tomorrow night at the Wall Street Journal's fifth annual "D: All Things Digital" conference in San Diego.

According to a press release, "Apple, Inc., CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, the seminal figures in the development of the personal computer, will make a rare joint appearance at The Wall Street Journal's "D: All Things Digital" conference this year. The two men will jointly discuss the history and future of the digital revolution in an unrehearsed, unscripted, onstage conversation on May 30 with D co-producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher."

"Both executives have made multiple individual appearances at the conference, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year, and is known as D5. But this will be their first joint session at D, and a highly unusual event."

No, you can't go — it's been sold out since forever.

But you can be certain highlights of their tête-à-tête will make their way into general public view shortly thereafter.

May 29, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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