Videos of Audio Damage Products

Time has been flying by recently, I guess mostly because I’ve been hard at work on Automaton, Audio Damage’s latest product. I’ve been meaning to mention that Chris is now making videos which demonstrate Audio Damage’s products. He has finished three so far; you can find them on Vimeo here. (There are copies on YouTube also but the Vimeo versions are of higher quality.)

So far he’s done overviews of Replicant, Dr. Device, and Ricochet. You might find them interesting if you’re not familiar with these products. You might find them interesting even if you own these products; a few customers have said as much on his blog. read more

Some Photos of Flowers

IMG_0213, originally uploaded by Adam Schabtach.

Our hibiscus is blooming gloriously, and our dahlias are doing well despite having been planted later in the year than was ideal. I just posted some photos of the flowers in my flickr site, in a new category just for flowers, which you can reach by clicking here.

You Think Shopping Online is Risky? Hah.

Since I’m intimately involved with two different online businesses, I occasionally encounter some well-meaning person who is reluctant–or refuses–to use their credit card to make purchases online. Apparently they’re concerned that their card information will somehow be hijacked and don’t quite understand the implications of SSL and the other measures that online businesses use to dramatically reduce the odds of such theft occurring. I’ve always wondered whether these same people are comfortable disclosing their credit-card information in other ways, such as handing it to an underpaid waitperson in some restaurant and letting the card (complete with the cardholder’s signature and the security code from the signature panel) disappear entirely from their sight for a number of minutes. Who do you think is really concerned more about the security of your card data: an online retailer whose entire business is at stake if their operation isn’t secure, or some employee in some physical establishment who can easily disavow any responsibility? After all, it’s the owner of the establishment who’s responsible for the data security, not the employee. read more

Japanese Beverage Report: Sakura Mist

I inadvertently saved the best for last, it seems. Sakura Mist is really good.

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It’s lightly carbonated and not terribly sweet. (If I’m deciphering the label correctly, it has less than half of the sugar of most American sodas.) It has a very subtle flavor. I think it’s cherry flavored in that nebulous way that artificial cherry has a flavor that doesn’t really taste like cherries. I could drink a lot of the stuff if I had a ready supply of it.

The strangest thing about it is its scent. When I opened the bottle and sniffed it, I immediately thought “oh, it smells just like–” and then couldn’t think of what it smells just like. I handed the bottle to Tracie and she had the same reaction: it smells exactly like something we can’t place. It’s an odd experience. read more

Inadvertent Dark Humor

One has to laugh at some of the juxtapositions that the Google AdWords AI creates sometimes. There’s an article here in today’s online New York Times about the scientist who was apparently behind the letters laden with a toxic substance whose name I’d rather not let search engines find in my blog. In a sidebar on the same page appeared these ads:

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Nice, eh? The link for the last one goes to this page, which offers products in the “Mass Fatality” category. The EveryBody Coffin (the name is trademarked, by the way) is described as “[a]n affordable wooden coffin for dignified disaster response.” On the same page you can find body bags and “Post-Mortem Shroud Kits”. Minimum order on the coffins is 10 units, by the way. read more

Watch This Video Before Your Next Shopping Trip

There’s a video at a site called The Story of Stuff which everyone should watch. It’ll consume 20 minutes of your precious time but do it anyway. To quote the introductory paragraph on the site, “It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.”

Japanese Beverage Report: Pepsi Blue Hawaii

It’s hot today (which is not news–it’s been hot for weeks) so I thought I’d crack open a nice blue Pepsi.

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I assume the name is a reference to the mixed drink, but there’s no alcohol in it. It’s quite good. It tastes like pineapple, mostly; I don’t really notice the lemon. It doesn’t take like standard Pepsi cola at all, and is somewhat less carbonated than usual.

I assume that this is one of the series of limited-edition Pepsi flavors and hence will vanish by the end of the summer. I’ll savor my three bottles. read more

Japanese Beverage Report: Gooey Fanta

I don’t think that it’s actually called Gooey Fanta, but I can’t read Japanese so I don’t know what its real name is. In any case, I tried the orange flavored Fanta today.

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Notice the little pictures of oranges and grapes shaking cans. It was impressed upon me that you have to shake this stuff vigorously before opening it, so I did. There seems to be some explanation also, but again I can’t read it.

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Isn’t there something faintly cannabalistic about a bunch of grapes merrily shaking a can of grape soda? Anyway, I shook the stuff up and tried it. It’s very much like orange soda with little bits of orange Jell-o floating in it. I think that the gelatinous stuff fizzes a little if you happen to press a lump of it against the roof of your mouth with your tongue. read more