Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Age of Feeds

I've discussed many times how low the friction is to start a business today. Tonight, I found a business that is nothing but a feed:

HitBargains is a shopping service from a couple of Stanford alumni. What makes it interesting is that it is essentially nothing more than a feed of shopping bargains at various stores. None of the information is proprietary or unique; what makes it valuable is the editorial selection of deals. Furthermore, the site is nothing more than a WordPress blog, and cleverly takes advantage of standard blog features (regular posting, categories, search).

I can forsee many such businesses springing up in the future. People are already intimidated by the 500-channel world of television. When the number of feeds numbers in the millions, editors will be more important than ever.
Chicks dig giant robots

Ever want to make your own giant robot? This guy is doing just that, and plans to try it out at the local monster truck rally. Watch out, Truckasaurus!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Polyjuice Potion

Many news outlets breathlessly reported that British scientists had concocted an age-defying diet that would cut the risks of heart disease by 80% and extend men's lifespan by an average of 7 years. All that was required was a daily dose of red wine, dark chocolate, garlic, and almonds. Hmm, already sounds like a Ben and Jerry's flavor!

Alas, what the news outlets failed to mention is that the "polymeal" concept was a tongue-in-cheek paper designed to amuse. What am I supposed to do with my 100 pounds of almonds?
Soda Pop

One of the parlor tricks my college linguistics teacher liked to use was to ask people what they called a carbonated beverage. The answers would inevitably show sharp geographic distinctions between "soda," "pop," and "Coke."

Side note: Isn't it amazing what kind of power the Coca-Cola brand has? There aren't any regions where people use "Pepsi" as a generic term for carbonated beverages, let alone RC Cola.

Now the folks at Pop vs. Soda have produced a detailed map of where each of the big three carbonated beverage terms rules the land. I'm a proud resident of Western Soda-land!

Monday, December 20, 2004


Now that The Lord of the Rings is finished, Gollum needs a new gig. How about rap star?
Make up your own joke about "spearing" or "high-sticking"

Hallmark, in an apparent effort to create some new theme cards, surveyed Canadians and found that 12 percent of couples have sex while watching hockey on the tube.