Bluetooth Speakerphone: WTF?

There is something I just don't get with bluetooth speakerphones - why would you need one?

I mean, the first cellphone I ever had (about 2003) did not have bluetooth or a speakerphone. Every phone since then, including a Motorola which refused to charge without sacrificing three lambs at a full moon on a tuesday, had both bluetooth and a speakerphone... which makes me wonder: why would  you use bluetooth to connect to a speakerphone, when your phone already has one?


Mini to Micro USB

So... you got a bunch of old chargers lying around the house. You got that little fold out Motorola one from the RAZR which was so damn sweet back in 2005, you have some car chargers you paid $29.99 for at the AT&T store, and you have a bunch of random mini-b usb cables lying around because just about everything for the last 10 years used one.

But now, you have a new smartphone. Which means two things: it takes a micro usb cable, not mini, and the battery life sucks (or, if you have an iPhone, it takes a ginormous ancient iPod adapter, and the battery life sucks).

The thing is, its pretty easy to use all of those old mini cables/chargers/car adapters for your new smartphone.

Just buy a bunch of these:

FREE shipping
They are literally $1 on eBay with free shipping (just click on the picture).
You plug it on to the end of your current setup - and presto changeo you have about 1,000 more charging options... 

Life advice, brought you by Norm

Cracked Covers Big Pharma

One of my favorite humor sites, (the only downside of this site is that it is owned by Demand Media), has a funny little piece about big pharma.

Honestly, it always gets me so pissed off when I have to listen to idiots drone on about how drugs are cheaper in Canada and some personal story where Obama rides in on a stallion and saves the planet from economic growth big pharma... morons..

Anyway - pretty solid, and funny, overview:

Pharmaceutical Companies
As Seen In: Resident Evil, The Constant Gardener, The Fugitive, Leverage, House
What Hollywood Thinks They Do:
If a movie or TV show features a drug company, you can bet your medicinal marijuana that it's doing one of four things: performing illegal experiments on people, charging an arm and a leg for treatments, lying about a drug's effectiveness or straight murdering anyone who stands in its way.

"And so, by murdering all of our customers with poison, Big Pharma can increase market penetration by 17 percent. Or something. I'll be honest: We've been dipping into the medical marijuana stash pretty heavily this week."
For example, in The Constant Gardener, African children are used as guinea pigs for tuberculosis drugs with known harmful side effects. And in The Fugitive, Harrison Ford spends the entire movie trying to figure out who framed him for his wife's murder, only to learn the whole shebang was set up by a pharmaceutical company that was about to release liver-damaging drugs. Because Ford discovered they were bad news, and apparently he was the only doctor who tested them.
A drug company is apparently the main bad guy in the new Wonder Woman. And don't get us started on the Umbrella Corporation, where pharmaceutical research is all a cover for... making zombies?

Age-defying zombies.
What They Actually Do:
Let's not get carried away here. Corporations don't care about you. So while pharmaceutical companies cure diseases (like, all the time) they don't care about your well-being any more than, say, the Starbucks corporation.
But they don't care about you any less, either.
They make good bad guys because we need drugs and drugs are expensive, so withholding drugs makes us think of them as heartless bastards. You figure that they know Grandma needs her heart medicine, so they know she'll pay through the nose for it. So it's like extortion! Our pain and sickness is their blank check!

"Jenkins, that slide show of dead grandmothers was fantastic. I think I speak for the entire board when I say my cock is hard enough to slice an apple with."
Yet ... drug companies aren't making all that much money. The world's largest drug company, Pfizer, is taking a beating and shutting down factories to cut costs. In fact, we hope you weren't invested too heavily in Big Pharma, because you're about to lose. Big time. Then you have a company like Hollis-Eden, which pumped over $100 million into medicine to combat the effects of radiation exposure and never made a profit. It eventually fired its CEO and started over with a new name.
OK, but maybe they're still crooks, but incompetent crooks? Or their evil CEOs are stealing all the money?
No, the problem is that making new drugs is ludicrously expensive. It may be true that your $300 bottle of pills has only $12 worth of chemicals in it, but behind that bottle is millions spent on researching, developing and testing the drug, and the bills from countless drugs that never made it to market despite all that money that was poured in (because only at the end did they turn out to be unsafe or ineffective, etc). Then they have to get everything they make through the FDA, market it and get doctors on board prescribing it to patients, and after all that there is still the potential for massive financial failure once their patents are up and anybody can make a dirt-cheap generic.

"Pfizer's new drug sends dolls tumbling off of comedically large waterfalls for half the price."
Again, please don't storm into the comments with "Oh, go cry us a river! Nobody made them get into this business!" Big Pharma is in it for the money, and we're not claiming otherwise.
It's just that they seem to suffer from the same paradox as the police -- we get more mad at them because what they're doing is more crucial to our safety. When's the last time you saw a movie where the villain was, say, a fast-food chain? It's as if because what they're doing is important, they can never do it to our satisfaction.

"Thanks for curing hundreds of diseases that have ravaged mankind since time immemorial ... assfucks."
Actually, we can think of at least one more group in the same boat ...

Read more:

Anti Anti Oxidants

I am pretty damn tired of hearing about anti-oxidants, and how they are good for just about everything.

AS I suspected, there is very little evidence of this... and some evidence to the contrary. The main evidence seems to be that people who eat natural foods which homo sapiens evolved to live off of, get health benefits. Put this genius finding into the same category as sitting all day is bad for you, you walk better barefoot, and butter is better than margarine.

Disease prevention

People who eat fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of heart disease and some neurological diseases,[146] and there is evidence that some types of vegetables, and fruits in general, protect against some cancers.[147] Since fruits and vegetables happen to be good sources of antioxidants, this suggested that antioxidants might prevent some types of diseases. This idea has been tested in clinical trials and does not seem to be true, as antioxidant supplements have no clear effect on the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.[146][148] This suggests that these health benefits come from other substances in fruits and vegetables (possiblyflavonoids), or come from a complex mix of substances.[149][150]

Many nutraceutical and health food companies sell formulations of antioxidants as dietary supplements and these are widely used inindustrialized countries.[159] These supplements may include specific antioxidant chemicals, like the polyphenolresveratrol (from grape seeds or knotweed roots),[160] combinations of antioxidants, like the "ACES" products that contain beta carotene (provitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin E and Selenium, or herbs that contain antioxidants - such as green tea and jiaogulan. Although some levels of antioxidant vitamins and minerals in the diet are required for good health, there is considerable doubt as to whether these antioxidant supplements are beneficial or harmful, and if they are actually beneficial, which antioxidant(s) are needed and in what amounts.[146][148][161] Indeed, some authors argue that the hypothesis that antioxidants could prevent chronic diseases has now been disproved and that the idea was misguided from the beginning.[162] Rather, dietary polyphenols may have non-antioxidant roles in minute concentrations that affect cell-to-cell signaling, receptorsensitivity, inflammatory enzyme activity or gene regulation.[163][164]
For overall life expectancy, it has even been suggested that moderate levels of oxidative stress may increase lifespan in the wormCaenorhabditis elegans, by inducing a protective response to increased levels of reactive oxygen species.[165] The suggestion that increased life expectancy comes from increased oxidative stress conflicts with results seen in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae,[166] and the situation in mammals is even less clear.[130][131][132] Nevertheless, antioxidant supplements do not appear to increase life expectancy in humans.[167]

Potential of antioxidant supplements to damage health

There is evidence that antioxidant supplements promote disease and increase mortality in humans.[81][82] It was previously proposed on a hypothetical basis that free radicals may induce an endogenous response culminating in more effective adaptations which protect against exogenous radicals (and possibly other toxic compounds).[83] Recent experimental evidence strongly suggests that this is indeed the case, and that such induction of endogenous free radical production extends the life span of Caenorhabditis elegans.[84] Most importantly, this induction of life span is prevented by antioxidants, providing direct evidence that toxic radicals may mitohormetically exert life extending and health promoting effects.[81][82]

Fold Over

Finally Blogger has fold over, or "jump" or whatever the hell you want to call it. They are only like 10 years behind on that one.

So now, I can put just some of the post up here.

Hyundai Benz

I really like Hyundai (though they dont make a single car I want to own) and I dont like Mercedes Benz (though they do), but the funny thing is... well... just look. These was done by accident, putting them next to each other on Autoblog as lead stories... I think the Koreans may have found a little inspiration somewhere...

BoN Android App

Working on getting an android app up and running - thanks to a cool website my brother found. Speaking of which, his writing is over at

Strangest New Car of 2011

Automakers are always looking for "white space" - if you drew an evolutionary map of cars, it would be the gaps between the cars currently on sale today. Chrysler hit it (relatively) big with the first minivan, while recently the big gap between cars/wagons and SUVs (and avoiding the blob from mars styling of minivans) has been filled up with innumerable crossovers, much to the delight of car manufacturers and self-image worrying soccer-moms everywhere.

On a side note - lets be honest here - a AWD minivan is probably a better option than almost any crossover... but lets move one.

One of the first true crossovers, and one of the most popular initially, was the Nissan Murano. For reasons I don't quite understand, but perhaps because the styling has not really kept pace, the Murano is not nearly so popular as it once was. However, Nissan has a plan, a radical plan, which will keep the Murano selling well and chip away at one of the few (4dr coupes? check. Sports SUVs? check. Strange swoopy coupe SUV 4dr things? check.) remaining white spaces. Two birds with one stone! Brilliant!

Errr.. maybe not...

Uhhh... yeah..... its a convertible crossover SUV. Which is... strange. What the hell is the point of this? I really dont get it. I guess it is meant to the be the best of all worlds, as convertibles are fun, SUVs are useful and crossovers can be sportyish to drive.

But really... this just gets one big whatthefuckasaurus. Actually, it gets a whatthefuckasaurus sandwich for being so damn strange.



T-Mobile Slams AT&T

Ok, I find it kind of hilarious that I just watched an ad for T-Mobile which spends the whole time (with their new magenta-wearing Anne Hathaway lookalike spokesperson), making fun of AT&T.... which just bought T-Mobile... classic. Keep running those ads, T-Mobile, keep running them...

Hick Water Skiing

This is just hilarious..

Pope Alexander VI (1431 – 1503): His Holiness

So - in my last post I made a comment about Alexander VI. Here is a little more on one of the holiest of holies.

Pope Alexander VI (1431 – 1503)


The reward for “Baddest Pope Ever” arguably goes to Rodrigo Borgia, who enjoyed the benefits of having an uncle who just happened to be Pope Calixtus III. Thanks to his convenient social status, Borgia passed through the ranks of bishop, cardinal, and vice-chancellor, gaining enormous wealth along the way. In 1492, he was actually able to buy his way into the papacy, defeating two other opponents by means of bribery.
Alexander was so corrupt that his surname eventually became a byword representing the hellishly low papal standards of the time. He sired at least seven different illegitimate children by his mistresses, and didn’t hesitate to reward them with handsome endowments at the church’s expense. When low on finances, he either established new cardinals in return for payments, or he slammed wealthy people with completely fabricated charges, jailed or murdered them for said false charges, and then stole their money.
Not surprisingly, there is very little about Alexander VI that can be considered godly or even lawful. His goals were selfish and ambitious, and the orderly government he initially administered quickly deteriorated until the city of Rome was in a state of complete disrepair. The words spoken by Giovanni de Medici (the future Pope Leo X) after Borgia’s election are telling:
“Now we are in the power of a wolf, the most rapacious perhaps that this world has ever seen. And if we do not flee, he will inevitably devour us all.”

Probably the funniest part is what wikipedia says about him, because clearly someone in the Vatican is working overtime editing the crap out of the 'unbiased' articles of wikipedia. Honestly, it makes it sound like the guy should probably be canonized rather than deionized:


Rodrigo was known for his patronage of the arts, and in his days a new architectural era was initiated in Rome with the coming of Bramante. Raphael, Michelangelo and Pinturicchio all worked for him, and a curious contrast, characteristic of the age, is afforded by the fact that a family so steeped in vice and crime could take pleasure in the most exquisite works of art.[16]

In addition to the arts, Rodrigo Borgia also encouraged the development of education. In 1495 Rodrigo issued a Papal Bull at the request of William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, and King James IV of Scotland, founding King’s College, Aberdeen. King’s College now forms an integral element of the University of Aberdeen.

Rodrigo Borgia, allegedly a marrano according to papal rival Giuliano della Rovere,[17] distinguished himself by his relatively benign treatment of Jews. After the 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain, some 9,000 impoverished Iberian Jews arrived at the borders of the Papal States. Alexander welcomed them into Rome, declaring that they were "permitted to lead their life, free from interference from Christians, to continue in their own rites, to gain wealth, and to enjoy many other privileges." He similarly allowed the immigration of Jews expelled from Portugal in 1497 and from Provence in 1498.[18]

It has been noted that the crimes of Rodrigo Borgia are similar in nature to those of other Renaissance princes, with the one exception being his position in the Church. As De Maistresaid in his work Du Pape, "The latter are forgiven nothing, because everything is expected from them, wherefore the vices lightly passed over in a Louis XIV become most offensive and scandalous in an Alexander VI."[citation needed].

Bohuslav Hasištejnský z Lobkovic, a Bohemian humanist poet (1461–1510) dedicated one of his Latin poems to Alexander:[19

eBay's Dirty Little Secret

I used to run an eBay store. My friends in college would joke about coming into my room and seeing brown boxes stacked high along the walls. I bought and sold electronics, and made pretty good money at it. And through that, I found out all about eBay, and all about its problems.

You see, they want to make you think that all you pay for in an auction is the listing fee. The listing fee is meaningless unless you are selling something very very cheap. What really screws you is the final value fee.

Here's how it works: eBay never talks about the final value fee. They hide a little notice at the bottom of the page you use to create your listing which says "final value fee will apply" or something like that. You list your item, thinking that eBay makes its money on the $0.10 you paid for your listing, the $0.35 for the gallery fee, and the $0.50 for a subtitle. They make you give them a credit card so that you can pay this fee. This is all bullshit. What really happens is that they then have the credit card on file, which means that at then end of the auction, eBay charges you 9% of what the item sold for AND THEY NEVER TELL YOU ABOUT IT.

Seriously, they just charge your card with the fee. Unless you check your car, you will never see how much you are really paying to eBay.

For me, I just sold a digital SLR on eBay. I got really fucked, because it sold for just over $500. And here is why that screwed me:

How do I know what the final value fee will be?

To see how final value fees are calculated for these listing formats, see fees for selling on eBay:

  • Auction-style: The final value fee is based on the final sale price.

  • Fixed price or Buy It Now: The final value fee is based on the final sale price and category.

  • Reserve price auction-style listings: The final value fee is based on the final sale price when the reserve price is met. There's no final value fee if the reserve isn't met.

  • Auction-style or fixed price listings in Business & Industrial categories:The final value fee is based on the final sale price and category.

Here's an example of a final value fee calculation for an auction-style listing:

  1. You sell an item for $100.00.

  2. Your final value fee is 9% of the final sale price, which is $9.00.

The maximum final value fee for auction-style listings is $50. For example, if you sell an item for $1,000, you’ll pay only $50, even though 9% of $1,000 is $90.

Here's an example of a final value fee calculation for a fixed price listing:

  1. You sell an item in the Electronics category for $1,500.00.

  2. On the first $50.00 you pay 8%, which is $4.00.

  3. On the next $950.00, you pay 5%, which is $47.50.

  4. On the remaining $500.00, you pay 2%, which is $10.00.

  5. Your final value fee is $61.50 ($4.00 + $47.50 + $10.00).

Yeah - so you see, I paid the maximum possible on an auction pretty much. So with my camera selling for $515, it means I paid eBay $46.35 to eBay in a final value fee. I knew this would happen, so it pissed me off, but I accepted it before I ever put the camera up for sale. But most individuals who sell on eBay have no idea that at the end of the process, eBay will bend them over and tithe them like Pope Alexander II (yeah - I will post about him next).

The kicker? At the end of the process, you are now REQUIRED to accept payment through PayPal - which takes another 3%. And yes - eBay owns PayPal.

Basically - eBay are a bunch of assholes. If there were any other options, any at all, that I could use for this, I would. And it is why people who regularly sell items (except for the Chinese) have completely abandoned eBay and all sell on Amazon - who don't actually treat their sellers like shit.

Top 20 Worst Commutes

These, according to your GPS units, are the worst (common - yes, your Uncle Bob might drive 2hrs each way to work, but hes just freaking crazy) commutes in the country. Basically, California sucks.

1. Riverside Freeway/Calif. Highway 91 eastbound, Los Angeles
2. Lunalilo Freeway/I-1 eastbound, Honolulu
3. California Delta Highway/Calif. Highway 4 westbound, San Francisco
4. I-95 southbound, Washington, D.C.
5. Bruckner/Cross Bronx Expressways (I-95 southbound), New York
6. I-35 southbound, Austin-Round Rock
7. Connecticut Turnpike (I-95 northbound), Bridgeport8. I-405 southbound, Seattle
9. Bayshore Freeway (U.S. 101 southbound), San Jose, Calif.
10. Kennedy/Dan Ryan Expressways (I-90/I-94 eastbound), Chicago
11. I-5 northbound, Portland, Ore.
12. Calif. Highway 78 eastbound, San Diego
13. I-494 eastbound, Minneapolis
14. Southwest/Eastex Freeways (U.S. 59 northbound), Houston
15. Southeast Expressway (I-93 northbound), Boston
16. Hampton Roads Beltway (I-64 westbound), Virginia Beach, Va.
17. Baltimore Beltway Inner Loop (I-695 eastbound), Baltimore
18. Schuylkill Expressway (I-76 westbound), Philadelphia
19. North Freeway (I-35W northbound), Dallas
20. Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101 northbound), Oxnard, Calif