Archive for the ‘Media’

iTunes Radio is a Game Changer

September 19, 2013 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Marketing, Media, Music

iTunes RadioBack when Spotify was only available in Europe, and I had that to tease my American friends about, I signed up for the free version, and saw the value of it. For someone that doesn’t already have a massive music collection, or for someone wanting constant background music, like in a bar or restaurant, services Spotify make a lot of sense. I’ve never used Pandora, because they’ve never made the effort to enter the European market. And long before them, I used Last.FM for a while. The ability to stream music you don’t own is excellent. There’s only one problem: it loses money.
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Facebook Intelligence Tests And The Real Geniuses

March 02, 2013 By: erik Category: Internet, Marketing, Media

Facebook Exclamation88% of people don’t understand this post… (but you probably will)

If you frequent Facebook much, you may have noticed a recent surge – or scourge – of silly little intelligence tests. Most of them start out with a claim that “Most people are unable to do this”, and then provide a pretty simple single-digits arithmetic problem or a word find or ask you to count geometric shapes. These things are so successful, especially with the prefacing text, because they reassure the common believe that everyone has, that they are smarter than most of these other Homo sapiens bozos.
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App Idea: Synchronized Social Commentary for Television

September 06, 2012 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Marketing, Media

TV Idea ThumbnailLike many of my friends, I rarely watch live television anymore, aside from sporting events. I did, however, watch the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics alone on my sofa. Except it didn’t feel like I was alone, because I had my smartphone, and many of my Facebook and Twitter friends were also watching the same event and making witty comments about what they were seeing. Though separated by vast distances, we enjoyed the spectacle much more than if we hadn’t had the social networks to unite us.

My friends in the United States, however, could not participate, since their Olympics coverage was delayed in a ridiculous prime time ratings power play by NBC. A few of them expressed annoyance at my “spoiler” comments about the event. And sure enough, when it aired in the US, there was a wave of social media commentary as they were witnessing the event. That’s when the idea came to me…
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Plastic Cap Charity

October 28, 2011 By: erik Category: Marketing, Media, Politics, Skepticism, Spain

Bottle Cap RecyclingSeveral months ago, I was informed that we were to stop recycling plastic bottle caps of all kinds in our household because my mother-in-law was collecting them to give to a charity to help a sick boy. Immediately, I was skeptical and full of questions. I feel unsettled when I hear of a scheme like this and I can’t understand the motivations of all the parties involved. When beer or soda companies offer to support a local sports team if residents collect bottle caps of their products, that’s one thing; that makes sense to me. But this indiscriminate collecting? What could possibly be the motivation?
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Miniature Books

September 20, 2011 By: erik Category: Internet, Media, Reviews

Yesterday I bought, downloaded, and read Sam Harris’ new e-book, Lying. (No, really, I did!) It was a quick read. Amazon lists its “print length” at 26 pages. While not as thought-provoking or groundbreaking as Harris’ full length books, it did make me consider how honesty and dishonesty affect my life. It was definitely worth my two dollars.

That’s right; it only costs $1.99, and it’s only available in e-book format.
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Americano en Colindres, El Diario Montañes

August 21, 2011 By: erik Category: Internet, Media, News, Spain, Spanish

Americano en Colindres, Diario Montañes (thumbnail)Yesterday, as I was packing to return from my weeklong vacation in Extremadura, I received an image on my mobile phone from my friend Andrés, back in Colindres. “You’re famous!” he said, and included a photo of an article in the regional newspaper for Cantabria, El Diario Montañes. I was so surprised! When I got back to Colindres the following day, I went around to various bars to see if they still had yesterday’s newspaper. I was surprised by how few of them had already thrown it away. I did find it telling, however, that the bars that still had the paper were establishments that I already considered less cleanly than the rest. I had to get two of them because the first one I got didn’t have the page with the article in it.
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Mono vs. Morro

May 13, 2011 By: erik Category: Media, News, Soccer, Spain

thumbI love it when current events cause a traffic spike on my blog. The big news in Spanish sports today is regarding a video clip where Sergio Busquets, a soccer player for Barcelona, covers his mouth, looks at Marcelo Vieira, who plays for Real Madrid, and says (no audio, just video) either “morro” or “mono”. Both require the tongue to hit the palate, and are more or less indistinguishable with video alone. The important facts of the case are that, Barcelona and Real Madrid are the principal archrivals in Spain’s favorite sport, and Busquets is a white guy from Barcelona, while Marcelo is a black guy from Brazil. Oh, and “mono” means “monkey”.
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Economic Populism

March 03, 2011 By: erik Category: Media, Politics, Stuff I Found, USA, Videos

rachel-maddowOne of my most profound epiphanies about politics occurred almost five years ago, when this blog was in its infancy. I realized that, merely by definition of the two political parties’ values, the only way for the Conservative party to gain power is to make a lot of noise and reduce voter turnout. This is because the vast majority of people are, by definition, going to support more socialist wealth-distributing economic policies. This is an absolute political truth that has always been true and will forever continue to be true. The way the Republican party in the US circumvents this is to side with Religion and the issues like abortion and gay marriage that fall out of strong Biblical religious conviction. These issues, of course, fall along the Authoritarian-Libertarian political spectrum, which is orthogonal to the Conservative-Liberal economic political spectrum. (more…)

Christmas 2010

December 28, 2010 By: erik Category: Beach, Complaining, Damn, Nature!, Experiments, France, Internet, Media

Santa Scales WallWe had a nice Christmas celebration. My Spanish family does a big Christmas celebration with aunts and uncles and cousins on odd numbered years, and the big get together on New Years Eve on even numbered years, so this year was a small Christmas celebration with just my wife’s parents, sister, and grandfather. As with most holidays, tradition rules, so the meals are pretty similar every year. Jumbo shrimp, stuffed eggs, paté, and gildas are the usual appetizers. We also had a fun time making a racket singing traditional Spanish Christmas carols.
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Semana del Pincho 3

December 24, 2010 By: erik Category: Beach, Experiments, Internet, Media

Semana del Pincho 2010It’s that time of year again. Time to walk through the chilly air from bar to bar in Laredo, Spain, eating elaborate tapas, called pinchos, and imbibing fine wine. This is the third year, and it seems to be getting better every year. The Semana del Pincho is one Christmas tradition I could definitely get used to. Before we get to the mouthwatering photos, I’d like to quote myself from last year about why I like this event so much:
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