S.S. Pumpkin

Newcastle Square Realty Blog

Cousin Tom, the Maniac, got these pictures of the next evolution in watercraft.

“Now admit it, when you first saw the phrase ” Pumpkin Race” you didn’t imagine that it meant grown men in hollowed out Atlantic Giant pumpkins? Well, the First Annual Pumpkin Regatta is over and nobody drowned! Last year was the first time these craft took to the water in front of an audience but this year drew quite a crowd.

Bill Green of WCSH Channel 6 TV (seen above) was a scratch from the race because he capsized, proving that the folks that race these giant gourds aren’t just pretty faces but are skilled sea persons in the great Maine tradition.”

Slikstr – These Guys Rule

About Slikstr

Best business plan I’ve seen yet. User generated content? Hah! How about a User-Generated Company. These guys are fully engaged and have totally figured out social media marketing with an ongoing naked conversation inside of Second Life no less, where we, the users, can have a say in operations. Look for these guys to be on stage at next year’s Web 2.0 Forum.

“With the overwhelming interest in user generated content, Slikstr has taken a more integrative approach to the “wisdom of crowds” and created a company where the users themselves will be involved in the day to day operation of the business from the outset. They have posted their business plan online to allow users easy access to fundamental decisions and they have announced that they will be hosting meetings in Second Life where users will be able to voice their opinions to the companies management team. Corporate decisions made in these meetings will be binding and treated with the same respect that any directive handed down from a company’s Board of Directors would be.”

Here comes your 19th nervous breakdown — Bubble 2.0

Silicon Valley Start-Ups Awash in Dollars, Again – New York Times

Martin Nisenholtz at the Times posts on Facebook that this isn’t going to end well. Damn right, welcome to Bubble 2.0 and its gonna be ugly when the music stops. Facebook at $15 billion? Google valued higher than IBM with eight times less revenue (actually that’s more than I thought they had). Get it while the getting is good. We’ve seen this before and the housing implosion is only going to accelerate it. Nice thoughts on the 20th anniversary of the Crash of 87.

“I have to say I giggled,” Mr. O’Kelley, 30, said of the deal that earned him millions. He has since left Right Media and is starting another company. “There is no way we quadrupled the value of the company in six months.”The trend is described as a return to madness (by skeptics) or as a rational approach to unlimited opportunities presented by the Internet (by true believers). Greed, fear and a desperate rush to pick the next big winner are all adding fuel to the fire that is Silicon Valley’s resurgence.

“There’s definitely a lot of betting going on, and it’s not rational,” said Tim O’Reilly, a technology conference promoter and book publisher.

Rob O’Regan on the same story

Elmer Fudd and Google

So I was trying to get to my iGoogle portal page and instead of typing http://www.google.com/ig  I made a typo and put in http://www.google.com/ug

That resulted in my going to a page in “Uyghurche” which I assume is some Balkanish-Asia Minory-weirdness which I cannot understand.

So, I tried to change my default back to the US version, but learned that I had another option.

Elmer Fudd

So, if your pweferwences are seawching in the wanguage of Fudd, check it out.

Jumbotron magic

While riding crosstown this morning on 43rd Street, in thick traffic, late for an appointment, I saw three examples of outdoor advertising/marketing worth a quick comment.

1. Between Sixth and Broadway, in the entrance to a parking garage, I spied a phalanx of shiny Vespa motorscooters. I like Vespas. My dad owned one when he was a graduate student in the early 60s, and I am an Italian design snob. There were at least a dozen lined up in a row, parked next to a sign that said something to the effect that the space was free for Vespas courtesy of Vespa USA. Brilliant. Owners get a free service for their loyalty, a service that is not cheap in a big city, nor practical. How does one park a motorscooter in a city? On the street? Chained to a parking meter? In a garage? Vespa gave them shelter this summer, but in a way where the row of Vespas is visible to the world, with a little sign saying, in effect: if you owned a Vespa you too could park here for free. I saw it. I saw a lot of scooters — like a storefront dealership … only better.

  • Chinatown — 174 Centre Street, between Hester and Canal Streets
  • Midtown — 412-422 W. 33rd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues
  • Theater District — 1120 Avenue of the Americas, near 44th Street
  • Tribeca — 15-21 Worth Street, between Worth Street and West Broadway

2. On the next corner, on Times Square, the cab was stuck in traffic, and there before me, on the corner of the Reuters Building, was a big Jumbotron sign with a digital Japanese paper doll on it. This was Harajuku — the Japanese fashion movement most identified with Gwen Stefani — who is HP’s latest celebrity (Vera Wang, Jay Z, Mark Cuban, The Chopper Guy) spokesperson for HP printing. There was an 800 number on the jumbotron. I dialed it, and after connecting was told I had 60 seconds to “dress the doll” on the screen. There were numbers next to the 50 foot tall Harajuku doll. On next to the head, the torso, legs, feet, etc. I pressed that number on my phone and the number highlighted on the screen.

I pressed another number. The dress changed. I pressed the number next to the feet and the shoes changed. I looked at the bazillion people on the sidewalks and no one was aware that I was the man behind the curtain …. Freaky. I had total control over the image. Well, not total, but I was messing with it and in control and that was cool ….

Props to Eric Kintz …. great campaign, great stunt.

3. Finally. What is up with ass marketing? I got two major out-of-home ass impressions in the same cab this morning. One from some really bad but new toilet company– which apparently is selling a bidet device that washes your netherlands and makes you feel clean. Clean. Do you hear me? Clean? And which features pictures of six people’s naked rear ends with smiley faces on them. I cannot remember its name. Nor will I try. Please. This is right out of the birth of Public Relations handbook, when the way to sell soap was to convince people they smell so they’ll take more baths.

Then, on the next block, is a delivery truck for Georgi Vodka with a huge picture of another ass. This one with the brand logo across the rear-end bikini. Okay. I looked. I admit it. And while I am at it: what is the deal with words on the derriere of shorts? I delivered my daughter to college last week and while sitting in the car waiting for her to get her ID I saw three women walk by with words on their butts, ranging from the name of the college to “Juicy.”
“Juicy” is not a sentiment I would flash on my withers.

Valleywag is in a frenzy today

Poor guys. It’s all Fake Steve All the Time Today.

So they swung and missed on FSJ a couple times and FSJ coined a new verb after their founder (to denton). It was high humor. But not as funny as Rich Karlgaard speculating in his blog.

Now Owen sees homoerotic significance in the fact that Lyons and I were on the same wrestling team (we never touched each other, I swear), and that I alluded to him with the female pronoun when blogging about the economics of blog sponsorships after discussing how to turn a buck on the blog with him last February.

Mea culpa. I’d never throw a buddy to the wolves.

Today’s Interactive Darwin Award — When CEOs turn into Sock Puppets

Whole Foods Is Hot, Wild Oats a Dud — So Said ‘Rahodeb’ – WSJ.com

Need an explanation of the perils of “sockpuppets?” Read this page one in the WSJ. The CEO of Whole Foods (aka “Whole Paycheck”) logs onto the Yahoo finance forum for the Whole Foods stock and posts for years under a pseudonym, trashing the competition’s stock and praising his own haircut. WTF?

“In January 2005, someone using the name “Rahodeb” went online to a Yahoo stock-market forum and posted this opinion: No company would want to buy Wild Oats Markets Inc., a natural-foods grocer, at its price then of about $8 a share.”Would Whole Foods buy OATS?” Rahodeb asked, using Wild Oats’ stock symbol. “Almost surely not at current prices. What would they gain? OATS locations are too small.” Rahodeb speculated that Wild Oats eventually would be sold after sliding into bankruptcy or when its stock fell below $5. A month later, Rahodeb wrote that Wild Oats management “clearly doesn’t know what it is doing …. OATS has no value and no future.”

The comments were typical of banter on Internet message boards for stocks, but the writer’s identity was anything but. Rahodeb was an online pseudonym of John Mackey, co-founder and chief executive of Whole Foods Market Inc. [emphasis mine, .ed] Earlier this year, his company agreed to buy Wild Oats for $565 million, or $18.50 a share.”

SEX SIG — who’d have thought?

Sex & Games

“The Sex SIG of the International Game Developers Association welcomes everyone interested in the topic of sexual content in video games, particularly developers active or interested in adult content development.”The adult content development community grows every year. It needs a place where it can discuss the unique issues, challenges and possibilities it faces while sharing information with others hoping to enter the field.”

Video game sex? Where?

wHy ThE cApiTaLiZaTiOn Of EvErY oThEr LeTtEr?

DiItAl cOnFrEnCeS

I don’t get it. Where did this idiotic affectation begin? Is this some stupid bleedover from the gamer subculture? “wOOt!” “pWnEd!”

I know every generation resorts to slang and obscurity to differentiate itself, but the retards who capitalize every other letter need to hang it up.

Some digging has yielded the information that this practice is known as “Studlycaps” or “camel caps” From the Wikipedia:

“According to the Jargon File “ThE oRigiN and SigNificaNce of thIs pRacTicE iS oBscuRe.” it appears to have been popularized among adolescent users during the BBS and early WWW eras of online culture, as a form of rebellion against the rules for proper capitalization of names and sentences. Unlike the use of all lowercase letters, which suggests laziness or efficiency as a motivation, StudlyCaps requires additional effort to type, either holding and releasing the Shift key with one hand while hunting-and-pecking, or alternately pressing one Shift key or the other while touch typing. The iNiQUITY BBS software based on Renegade had a feature to support this automatically.”

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