EHMO Returning

I am a big fan of this show that at least does something. When you think about it, every other show exists only to sell ads. So I had a widget for Extreme Home Makeover here, but it broke the formatting for the page so it’s...

Theives and Liars Think We Are Stupid...

By Theives and Liars I mean the jackasses that should be treating us as customers rather than known felons. Regular readers are familiar with my extreme hatred of companies who add so many security “features” that it makes it impossible to do business with them. I was ordering a credit report a few weeks ago and ran into the same problem again: automated questions about previous cars that I’ve owned. Again a garbage process: asking me what year my Honda is. Right now we own two Hondas, and they are not the same year. At least it gave me a second chance to guess the other one. “Verified By Visa”, which I will now refer to as “Vilified by Visa” is the latest bonehead move. I tried to purchase an airline ticket this weekend and I was pulled away from the Northwest Reservations system to go to a special Visa site to prove that I’m not using a card that’s been stolen. As if confirming my address, the card authorization code, and my frequent flyer number weren’t proof enough. I thought I had an account set up, but I couldn’t tell if the Vilified site is the same as the Visa site or not. After 3 tries I decided it was just much easier to give American Express the business, and they didn’t make me go through any additional stupidity. My favorite part is how Visa has a whole campaign set up about how this is protecting you, the customer. Even though Federal Law limits the penalty to $50 per card, they try to make it sound like this is all for your sake, when in reality they are trying to protect themselves from the exposure, even if it makes it harder for you...

A Robot Renegade Cop

It’s Friday, and my chance to score -10 to your productivity with some Vids. Scott Monty tipped me off to both of these as a fan of voice-over artists. Robot Renegade Cop Five Guys in a Limo Have a good...

What I Did on My Spring Vacation – BS (08)...

For those following the travel saga, we ended up taking the LimoLiner, a 28 passenger deluxe bus that worked very well, although we felt the pain of a fellow traveler across from us who was sitting next to the guy who really wanted to talk politics and spilled his coffee all over both of them. This further solidifies my “Final Approach Rule” I don’t engage in transit conversation until the final 10 minutes just in case I’m seated next to some type of freak. I put on my headphones, fired up the laptop and checked out some Season 3 Doctor Who. Lots of fun this weekend in New York City. The unofficial prelude was being lucky enough to have schedules overlap to catch Chip Griffin in the Brandy Library with the Scotch bottle, a great place to visit in Tribeca, followed up with a fantastic dinner at Pepolino. The great part about this event was that there were no formal sessions, just social functions. The first night at an Irish Pub, followed by a boat tour around Manhattan, and a semi-formal dinner that evening (Blogger Prom, as some called it). The highlight for me was meeting The Beasties: Ryan often confused with Justin Timberlake, Nathan with some real technical chops and mastering of the A/B split, Lijit’s mercenary Tara (but there’s a big heart in there… maybe.) and Matt with a razor sharp wit, and aggressive attack on the bar that reminds me of my days before I learned better. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. It was also great to meet Matt Dickman in person having followed him over on MarketingProfs. The lowlight was chatting with Todd Andrlik, founder of the Power 150. I enjoyed talking to him but maybe...

Monday Morning Blues

Back to work after a busy weekend in Gotham City. I had a great time a blogger social, and have to do a full write up, but catching up on sleep was a higher priority this morning. You know it’s solid when the Ogilvy pipe comes out. I just requested permission on this copyrighted shot from Greg Verdino, I think I need a point and shoot, I can’t carry the bag everywhere. Check out the rest of the photoset...

NCAA Basketball March Madness...

If you have already set up your picks for the NCAA Tournament please consider entering the charity tournament I’m playing in. The entry fee is $25 and the winner gets to select the charity that will receive the pot. You can enter here, and it’s pretty low key so you can probably still enter after the first round. College hoops is my favorite spectator sport. Every player knows their future rides on every game, if they want to go pro they have to give all they have for the entire season. The NBA, like any other batch of middle-aged men, understand the value of a steady pace so that you have some reserve for when it’s needed, NCAA is full throttle 24/7. I went to UMass during John Calipari’s reign, watching a school transform from when I started and I could walk in and sit 5 rows behind the team at the half, to having to enter a lottery for the chance to get a ticket for a season that was completely sold out was incredible. Nothing generates heat and excitement like success. Alas, I have given up most of my life as a spectator and fan, I make some time to watch championships and follow the scores but everything else goes to my time on the field. I’m already behind in my picks, but the good news is that I marked all of the teams I missed to drop in the next round, so I’m still in the...

Stupidity

I rented a minivan for the trade show. Lame, I know, but it’s good for hauling around the trade show cases, or  carpooling with everybody else.  These keys are huge b/c they have 6 buttons on them, but here’s the kicker: they gave me two keys on a keychain that is a cable keyring that is riveted shut. I’d need some wire cutters to get them apart. So why am I carrying around two? What in would require me to need both keys without separating them? So I can do them the favor of losing them both? Knowing they will be safer because I have to put them in my laptop bag because it’s too big for a pocket? Anyone?...

Weekend Ramble – Palm Centro...

So it’s the weekend. Taking a break from Marketing here’s the important stuff: I got a new TV so the complaining can stop at my house. The old one is being repaired and it’s going on 3 weeks, we couldn’t take it any more. We got a good deal at the Sony outlet and so I was able to take the upgrade to Apple TV last night and subscribing to Flickr is awesome. I had a question come in and thought it would be good to put it out there as a continuation of my travel series, as I’m packing my bags now. “I think I remember a post or tweet of yours regarding your Palm Centro. I am in the market for a smartphone and I have been looking at it. I am a Sprint customer and I have narrowed my search to the Centro or the Pearl. I really wanted Windows Mobile over PalmOS but that is mostly because I haven’t used PalmOS in years. Would you recommend the Centro? I would basically use it to browse the web with Opera and check Gmail with the Gmail app. Are you using these apps?” Back in December I traded in my Treo 600 and my wife’s standard issue Sanyo flip phone for a pair of Centros. Now some will say that my opinion is moot because our previous phones were so crappy that anything would be an upgrade. Getting past that let me say that I am a die hard Palm fan. I have yet to find any version of Windows mobile on any device that matches the usability of the Palm OS. It’s just easier and faster to get to addresses, see the calendar, do the simple tasks. Also note that getting...

Are You Ready for Some Football...

Firebrand will have some coverage of Superbowl Ads by Terry Tate, that’s all I need to know. Happy Friday ps – Google reader doesn’t show the embedded YouTube vids in this post, anyone know how to fix...

Poisioned by Your Own Dogfood...

I don’t know if any other industries use this phrase, but it’s very common in software to talk about “Eating Your Own Dogfood” – in other words: Using the products that you make. You’d think this is basic “support the home team” kind of thing, but it doesn’t always happen, and when the word gets out it is usually a big PR problem. Now you can get the punchline when I tell you that we use the software development tool that we sell at work, and the server name is Alpo. This does lead to an interesting situation I’ve only seen twice, and the second time was last week. I get forwarded emails on a regular basis from companies that sell leads and other information, and occasionally from firm that append data. A data appending service will take your existing lists, and then try and fill in the blanks. This can be very helpful if you have a list of emails and are looking for mailing addresses, or vice versa. There are different methods to do this, ranging from fully automated (we know that HugeCorp uses first initial last name @ hugecorp.com for email, so just do that – and come on people! You can do that with excel yourself, for the love of god!), to completely manual – a team of callers updates and refreshes info. Be careful of these services to confirm that they don’t use your data to clean up everyone else’s… So my co-worker David (name changed to protect everyone involved), forwarded me a message from a data appending service. The email starts “Dear...