Tag Archives: miscellaneous

VSU in the thrift shop

Last week my friend Lindsay and I were making the rounds of the various thrift stores and used furniture stores in Valdosta.  It is quite interesting to see what people get rid of and to think of ways to use some of it.

At one of the thrift shops we found three VSU glasses.  One of them is a glass that was given out to the VSU student employees at the Student Awards banquet last year.  Another one was from the Faculty and Staff Campaign from 2002.  There were tons of promo glassware from all kinds of companies, restaurants and schools.  I wonder just how much of that kind of stuff is bought and given out only to end up in some landfill or thrift shop.

VSU in the thrift 1 of 3VSU in the thrift 2 of 3VSU in the thrift 3 of 3

Great conversation leading up to being fired

I just got finished reading Stealing MySpace by Julia Angwin.  In it there was this great conversation about the firing of Ross Levinshohn by Peter Chernin, the soon-to-be former COO of News Corps.  Here it is:

“You’re not happy, are you?” Chernin said.
“No, I’m not,” Levinsohn agreed.
“This isn’t working out, is it?” Chernin said.
“No, it’s not,” Levinsohn replied.
“We should probably part ways,” Chernin said.
“Yes,” Levinsohn replied.

That’s just awesome.  I wish I could make it work like that the next time I have to fire someone.

Ref: Stealing MySpace, p. 234.

What’s wrong with the ETF?

Lately there has been a lot of flack going on over the Early Termination Fee (ETF) system that the major cellular carriers use to encourage consumers to abide by the length of the contract that they have signed.

Apparently a lot of people are upset that the various cellular carriers are wanting to charge a fee to get out of the contract they signed. Now I can understand that they don’t like paying some extra fee to switch carriers, however, they signed the contract in the beginning stating that they would pay the extra fee if terminating the contract early.

I can understand that there may be instances where the ETF seems onerous due to a dissatisfaction with the services or a case where the ETF is conceivably improperly levied. In fact, I had to pay an AllTel ETF when my wife died solely because the cellphone was actually in my name and not hers. If the phone contract had been in her name then AllTel would have waived the fee and just canceled the contract.

What I don’t quite grasp is why the very consumers that signed the contract are so loathe to abide by the terms. If you have ever signed a lease on an apartment, house or car, I imagine that you have agreed to pay extra fees in order to break the lease. This is a common practice and everyone seems to accept that it is worthwhile, so why is it so bad to have the same clause in the contract on cellular service?

What is energy independence?

So the USGS has almost completed the survey of the Bakken Formation. Estimates on the amount of oil contained in the shale formation range from 900 billion to 200 billion barrels.

A poster on Slashdot said that “Such a reserve would go a long way toward securing US energy independence.”

What exactly is energy independence? It seems to me that unless the United States starts taking alternatives to oil and coal more seriously that we are just trading dependence on foreign sources of petroleum for dependence on domestic ones. Is that really much better?

Vacuum or leaf-blower?

While watching Shark tonight I saw a commercial for the new Dyson root 6 handheld vacuum cleaner.  The commercial was pretty cool.  It showed the vacuum cleaner being built, in a Lego-like fashion.

Aside from the coolness of the commercial itself, it occurs to me that the design of the root 6 is quite similar to some of the designs I have seen for leaf blowers.  Maybe Dyson needs to look into building a line of outdoor products next.