Category Archives: General

Boycott Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a sexist, made up, capitalistic holiday. All advertisements aim at men buying stuff for women. No one ever talks about a woman buying something for their man, and why does anyone need to buy anything at all. Let’s all band together and boycott Valentine’s Day this year.*

*Disclaimer: Seth Cardoza is not responsible for temporary celibacy, sleeping on the couch, sleeping outside, sleeping in one’s car, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, upset stomach, lost or strained relationships, stabbings (accidental or intentional), or any other forms of bodily harm, both inflicted and/or received.

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Update Your Business Model

If you haven’t heard, I’m getting married this year. One of the fun things I get to do is talk to vendors, food vendors, photographers, videographers, DJs, and hotel/resort managers. I recently spoke with a wedding photographer, and a question I always have is “Who gets the rights to the photos?”. This is very important to me for a few reasons. One, because the pictures are of me and my family, and I want to be able to do what I want with them. Two, what happens in 20 years when we want to get another photo album, or more prints, and your company no longer exists to get permission to do so or purchase from directly.

So, I ask the inevitable question, and this photographer tells me we are allowed to print the images ourselves, but cannot take them to a commercial printer. This means I can’t even take my pictures to CVS, Walgreens, Walmart or the local developer to get a few 4×6’s printed. She then goes on to say that

We do all the work, why should they be the ones to profit off of it.

This photographer is paid to photograph the wedding, and wedding photography is not cheap. If you feel your work is worth more than what you charge, and feel the need to retain the rights so that you can make more money off of printing, then you’re doing it wrong. Charge more for your photography work if you truly have the talent to warrant it, and provide better service.

Times have changes, and you need to update your business model to follow suit. This outdated business model makes you look cheap, and your explanation makes you sound bitter.

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Nature Valley National Parks Project

As I was eating my highly nutritious granola bar breakfast this morning, I noticed some writing on the wrapper. Nature Valley National Parks Project will donate $0.10 for each wrapper you mail in, through August 31, 2010. My first WTF was “why would I spend $0.42 on a stamp for you to donate $0.10?” I’m sure I could mail more than one per envelope, but it’s still not very cost effective. Secondly, if this is about nature and preservation, wouldn’t it be better to have a code on the wrapper that I can enter into a website so i don’t have to waste a paper envelope, and fossil fuels don’t need to be burned to deliver all these wrappers to your processing plant? I should note that they will donate a minimum of $250,000 (and a maximum of $500,00), but this seems more like a poorly done marketing campaign, and a mock effort at actually helping the environment.

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Dissecting Yahoo’s 10 Things Not to Buy in 2010

Yahoo has an article in finance listing 10 items that are pointless to buy in 2010. There are several items on the list that I will definitely still purchase in 2010 despite Yahoo’s flawed logic. The first being DVDs. The article states:

On average, DVDs sell for at least $20 each. That’s pricier than signing up for Netflix or renting movies from cable providers’ on-demand channels.

I’ve never paid $20 or more for a DVD. Maybe if you are an idiot and go to a specialty shop to buy the DVD the week it comes out, you will end up paying this much for a DVD. I rarely pay more than $10 for DVDs because I don’t mind waiting for them to drop in price after their initial release. It’s similar for TV shows on DVD. I’ve never even paid $20 for a season of a TV show on DVD. While I do expect there to be a further decline in DVD purchase because of Blu-ray, Netflix, and Redbox, I see no reason not to buy a DVD if it’s something you will enjoy over and over again.

External hard drives are another item listed, stating that online backup services are the way to go. First, never put all your eggs in one basket. You should have more than one backup, and never rely on someone else to do it for you. Secondly, the article even contradicts itself by stating these online backup services are more expensive than external hard drives. These online services have their benefits, but if you just need a backup of documents and pictures get a couple cheap external hard drives, or even better internal hard drives and an external enclosure.

Next up is compact digital cameras. It seems that in 2010 smaller is not better. Yahoo would have you believe that compact digital cameras are going the way of the pager because of bigger and better DSLR cameras. The problem is that DSLR cameras are much more expensive, and much much larger. While I would love to have a DSLR because I enjoy photography, no one is going to want to bring a these to the club, restaurant, party, etc. to take casual pictures with friends and family.

Update: Gareth makes a great point in the comments, while DSLR cameras probably won’t replace compact point and shoot models, cell phone cameras are getting better with each generation. I expect them to be a much more likely replacement as it is a device almost everyone has on them at all times anyway.

Last up is CDs. This is the toughest one for me to argue for continuing buying, and is more of a personal preference. I still haven’t paid for a digital download of any audio, but have purchased a few CDs as recently as a week ago. Just like DVDs, CDs can be found rather cheap if you don’t mind looking around. I like the fact that I have a physical good for my money, for the same or even a lower price than its digital counterpart. It’s easy for me to grab one disc and bring it wherever if that’s all I want, but I will most likely rip it to my computer and put it on my mp3 player as well.

The average person will most likely be purchasing these items well through this year. While some are adopting newer and better technologies, not everyone needs to, or has the money to as newer technologies are often more expensive.

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eS Accel Shoes Are Painfully Uncomfortable

I’ve had these shoes for a little over 6 months now. I wear them everyday, but the most I will do with them is a lot of walking at the mall or theme park. Not long after I got them, my heels and the balls of my feet would hurt if I stood for more than a few minutes or walked for a long period of time. I contributed it to the fact that I’ve been getting lazier and lazier with age. I recently got some Dr. Scholl’s insoles though, and in the midst of removing the ones that came with my shoes, I notice that they have become almost paper thin. These things have completely broken down with moderate wear. I threw in the Dr. Scholl’s insoles and my feet are feeling great again. Don’t buy these shoes, ever.

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Rest Assured, Your Hand Job Is on Its Way

I got this letter from Hand Job customer support today, letting me know that they are working around the clock to deliver my Hand Job, hopefully by Christmas.

Dearest Handjob Consumers,


Thank you so much for your orders!


Due to many recent inquiries, we would like to take this opportunity to assure you that yes, this is a real product. And yes, you will be receiving your very own genuine Handjobs shortly.


We were taken by surprise at the overwhelming response and the number of orders we’ve received thus far, and we are working very hard to try to get all of your orders to you by Christmas time. Please note that we can make no guarantees, but we will be working around the clock between now and then in an effort to satisfy your wants and desires.


We take Handjobs very seriously, and we truly do appreciate each and every one of you for supporting us. And look forward to many new and exciting developments on the HJ front!


Thank you again, and we look forward to hearing about all the pleasure your heartwarming Handjobs provide this season! 




Lisa Q.

Handjob! Customer Service

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Comcasts Buys NBC from GE: What Will It Mean for Hulu?

You can read the details over at Gizmodo

This is a big deal as Comcast already is a large telecommunications company, and fully or partly owns numerous networks already. The really interesting piece is how this will play out for Hulu. NBC owns a part of it along with Fox Entertainment Group and ABC Inc. It could play out any number of ways, but the two big scenarios I see are:

Comcast could take Hulu and run with it giving it a great head start on the competition. Streaming video content will happen whether the cable companies want it or not. Comcast could nurture the already flourishing product and make a ton of money while staying current with technology.

Comcast could do everything in its power to kill Hulu. This is a likely scenario as Comcast already sees it as competition to its traditional cable services, and rightly so. Comcast could hinder further development for Hulu in order to keep traditional cable afloat, thus setting back quality streaming video content in overall as Hulu is one of the largest providers. After all, why innovate when you can just buy the competition.

While I would prefer the former, as it would benefit everyone the most, given Comcast’s track record, I expect the latter to be the more likely scenario.

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Driving the Company Vehicle

The reputation of your business is very important, especially so when you are a small business. Business big and small have branding on their company vehicles, and many small business have advertising on their personal or family vehicles. If you are one of them, remember this next time are on the road. Make sure you are a responsible and courteous driver, and make sure your employees do the same while in a company vehicle. You might think nothing of cutting someone off, or speeding excessively, or not letting someone into your lane, but they might remember that the Joe’s Plumbing truck is the one that cut them off, or nearly caused an accident.

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Smashing Magazine and Twitter Ads

Yesterday, we saw our first ads via @smashingmag‘s Twitter feed. There was some outrage about it. People stating they were no longer following them because of it, which I find ridiculous. Smashing Magazine has provided valuable content, tutorials, and information at no charge to its readers. Smashing Magazine needs some way to pay the bills. There may be better ways than advertisements on its site and Twitter feed, but the amount of ads and their placement is by no means unreasonable. I didn’t see any of the protesters state that they would gladly pay money for their content for it to be ad free. Smashing Mag quickly posted a poll following the backlash. Initially, it weighed heavily on “No way, I’ll unfollow right away!”, but the pool seems to have leveled out with the majority of people understanding that “Yes, you need to pay bills eventually.” You can view the poll, and let your voice be heard too.

The tweet in question can be found here. As you can see, @smashingmag clearly states that this is an ad. They could have easily pushed this service as something they value without stating that it was a paid advertisement. I like the fact that they are up front about it. Think about how many tweets promote products and services, and now think about how many of them could have been paid for without your knowledge. Think about how many people you follow, and how many tweets come through your stream everyday. I currently follow a modest 59 people, and receive about 200 tweets per day. I don’t have time to read every single one of them. Most of any twitter ads will get overlooked as many other tweets do. Twitter ads are not ideal, but depending on their frequency, they are a tolerable way for content providers to make money.

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Mythbusters Beer and Liquor Analysis

The Mythbusters had a recent episode testing if drinking beer and liquor would make you more sick thann drinking just beer. They got the myth wrong in the first place. The real myth is that if you drink beer before liquor you will get sick, but not if you drink liquor before beer.

Their test had Tory and Grant drink the exact same amount of alcohol whether they were drinking beer or mixing beer and liquor. It should be pretty obvious that consuming the exact same amount of alcohol should yeild the same results.

The reason the real myth holds is because, generally, when someone starts drinking beer, and then switches to liquor, they usually have consumed several beers and have a buzz, and then consume a significant amount of liquor. Liquor usually goes down quicker because it is in more concentrated quantities. When someone drinks beer and then liquor, they generally have a stronger buzz, and aren’t downing beers left and right. It doesn’t matter if you mix beer and liquor, and in what order you mix them in, if you drink too much alcohol, you will pay the price.

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