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September 1, 2007

America's Best Restroom? It's at Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, Ohio

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You could look it up.

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Long story short: The six-year-old contest relies on an Internet poll of thousands of respondents.

Pictures of Jungle Jim's facilities appear above and below.

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Want more?

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BestRestrooms.com has it all.

September 1, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Scroll Pen — Episode 2: Return of the Concept

Featured back on December 29, 2006 in Episode 1, this was clearly an idea whose time had not yet come.

Now comes Jac Zagoory in an attempt to create a foothold for this most clever mashup.

The video up top shows and tells.

Here's Roger Thomasson's take, from the latest issue of Wired magazine.

    Jac Zagoory Scroll Pen

    "Master, what is this wand with which you scribe? 'Tis neither quill nor parchment, and yet somehow both... is it sorcery?" No, young apprentice, there's no magic here — just an ingenious ballpoint pen with a built-in, replaceable paper cartridge tucked into the top part of the barrel. The paper rolls out smoothly, tears cleanly, and never snags. Although the two-inch-wide scroll doesn't last forever, cartridge changes are a snap. But let's face it: If you're looking to impress the ladies — unless you're at a Wired party — it's probably best to keep this one in your pocket.

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Yellow or Silver.

$35.

September 1, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NowPlayIt.com — KT Tunstall gives a lesson

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This new website features pop artists teaching you how to play some of their favorite songs.

John Jurgensen reviewed it in today's Wall Street Journal, as follows.

    At this site, pop stars are the music teachers

    On a new Web site, fans of Brit-pop band Blur or Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter KT Tunstall can learn how to play some of their favorite songs on guitar, bass or drums — from the artists themselves.

    The site, NowPlayIt.com, lets users download video tutorials for songs from a handful of popular musicians. So far, there are about 400 videos available in different bundles. The top tier downloads, priced at about $8, feature the stars talking about the song and then demonstrating the chords or drum beats. Accompanying graphics pop on the screen to show notes and fingering. The lesson is followed by a music video of the song, with the same onscreen graphics to help the pupil play along.

    Not all the downloads feature a famous teacher, however. Some, such as David Bowie's "Space Oddity," and Radiohead's "High and Dry," are taught by in-house tutors for Now Play It. The site also offers "lite" tutorials, priced at $4, which simply feature the instructional graphics shown with a music video for the song.

    Now Play It is working with a few labels, such as EMI, to commission more tutorials from the artists themselves. The site splits a portion of each sale with the labels and publishers that own the copyrights to the songs.

    While Ms. Tunstall comes across as a thorough instructor, other artists seem more adept at performing their songs than teaching them. As he demonstrates the opening chords to his hit "Richard III," Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes says, "Then you're gonna move that up to the — what fret's this? I don't know — just up here."

September 1, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nalgene Hip Flask

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From the website:

    Nalgene Flask

    Introducing the Nalgene Flask — a sip on your hip.

    Whether you keep it in your pocket, your purse or your pack, it stays neatly tucked away when not in use.

    Nalgene ingenuity makes it leakproof; a slender profile makes it bulkproof.

    Features:

    • Provide a long-term storage solution

    • Includes durable insulation sleeve

    • Prevents plastic taste and odor

    • Fits easily into bags and packs

    • Holds 12 ounces (350 ml)

    • One-ounce cap

$8.99.

September 1, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bram Cohen's blog

Who's he (above)?

He created BitTorrent.

His observations are consistently at odds with the received wisdom and always interesting.

Consider for example his thoughts on the iPhone in a July 7, 2007 post which follows.

    iPhone review

    There are few technologies from the last hundred years which really make a difference in everyday quality of life. A modern mattress is good, as are a modern washer and dryer, a decent vacuum cleaner, a net connection with a web browser, and a phone which gets better audio quality than a hundred years ago. Well, all except that last one, because IT DOESN'T EXIST. Despite all the hoopla about the iPhone, 90% of its functionality is still voice calls, and it it still has the same crappy ones as everything else. You can't even change its ring tone to be an arbitrary MP3. It may have some cute gizmos, but the iPhone is still fundamentally a mediocre consumer electronics device.

    Would some carrier, any carrier, please offer a feature such that when calls are made within the carrier you get better audio quality than is available over the plain old telephone system? Is it too much to ask that background music sound like background music, rather than bizarre noise?

    Rendering web pages in Safari is cute though. It upgrades the phone-based web browsing experience from "useful in case of emergencies" to "useful when you don't have a real monitor around."

September 1, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My new favorite alarm clock

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Wrap it up, I'll take it.

From the website:

    Round LED Clock

    This clock has an easy-to-read blue LED, an alarm with snooze feature, and an AC adapter.

    Made of plastic casing with metal components.

    4" diameter x 2" deep.

$35.

September 1, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The rise of online video classifieds

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In an informative August 9, 2007 Wall Street Journal story Jessica E. Vascellaro reviewed three new websites offering video classifieds.

The best part is you can post your ad for free.

Just one more nail in the coffin of the daily newspaper.

Here's the story.
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Sites Let Sellers Post Video

Classified sites — stuck in the Craigslist era — are getting a video makeover.

New sites like Imoondo, Spynbuy and RealPeopleRealStuff are trying to bring classified listings to life by allowing users to create and post short online videos showing off everything from handbags to homes.

While they have far fewer listings than regular classified sites, and some clips (such as an Elvis impersonator offering free dance advice) are downright silly, for items like real estate and cars, they can be quite useful by giving you a panoramic view of the product.

The sites, which are organized by city, don't charge regular consumers to post their videos although some plan to charge for businesses who want to use the services. Here's a look at where to find the homegrown commercials:

Web site: Imoondo.com

Selection: More than 400 videos ranging from a Bostonian discussing a $60 fishing lure to a close-up of an exotic fish swimming in its tank.

Comment: Site has a unique collection of visual artists showing off work ranging from pet portraits to bronze sculptures. But, weirdly, the site is also heavy on restaurant reviews.


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Web site: RealPeopleRealStuff.com

Selection: More than 200 video classifieds featuring a woman playing a $150 flute and a stand-up comedian seeking bookings at corporate events.

Comment: Site was easy to browse but for some wares — like Superman trading cards or Entertainment Weekly magazines — pictures would have been just as useful as video.


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Web site: Spynbuy.com

Selection: 250 video classifieds from a person walking on a $250 treadmill to a car salesman showing off vintage cars.

Comment: Site has a nice collection of videos showing off housing listings and office space. The virtual tours were clearly more useful than text ads.

September 1, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Erasable Highlighter

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"Crayola Total Tools Erasable Highlighter provides one end with a bright yellow highlighter — the other will remove that highlight. The soft squishy grips make them easy to hold and fun to use."

Two for $4.99.

September 1, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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