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August 2005

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I have to admit, I was expecting more from Google with the launch of Google Talk. The basic white and primary color of the design does not surprise me at all, and I like how simple the design is. What did surprise me is the lack of options and features. I’m not an annoying smiley type of person, but basics should be included. There is no file transfer option. I do like how easy it is to send email to your contacts or call your contacts. The sound quality on the calls is amazing and is as clear as the phone in your house.

I have been looking for a nice IM program to replace MSN and its overblown advertising interface, and with time and essential features, I think Google Talk will be able to do that. The question is, does Google have time to develop a product for an already established market?

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I don’t really watch tv shows on a regular basis, but these two shows have caught my interest. These are, without a doubt, the two best shows on television right now. Entourage is a great show. I became addicted to it this summer, and have since bought season 1 on dvd. The writing is great, the insider view of Hollywood is interesting, and the guest appearances are really entertaining (Val Kilmer as a sherpa was hilarious). Jeremy Piven is excellent as Vincent Chase’s agent. Check it out on Sunday nights on HBO. You will not be disappointed.

The other show I started watching is Weeds on Showtime. Mary Louise Parker is great in this show about a suburban mom who sells marijuana to the other suburbanites. This show’s portrayal of suburbia is hilarious, if not altogether accurate. You can also find this show on Sunday nights.

What’s the deal with Bonus Tracks? It seems more and more albums are featuring these bonus tracks. I don’t understand the concept behind bonus tracks. Am I supposed to feel honored to have one extra, and most likely, mediocre track? Why is it bonus? If it was that good, it would have been on the album anyway. Do the companies think that people are going to buy the album because it has a bonus track?

Ooooh. I wasn’t going to buy this album because I only know the one song that Clear Channel has implanted into my brain. In fact, I now hate said song, but wait! Not only does this album have 1 good song and 14 crappy songs, but it has a BONUS TRACK! I’ve got to buy it now!

Come on, record companies, quit with the bonus track BS. We all know that your artist sucks and the only reason they are on the radio is because you throw around a little money. Okay, a lot of money.

What I do appreciate though is a good hidden track. That is a bonus to me. You didn’t know it was on there, and all of the sudden another song plays. Usually these are pretty crappy too, but at least you didn’t know you were paying for an additional crappy track when you bought the album.

Kanye West’s recently bootlegged album Late Registration features both. The bonus track is just one of the previous songs on the album, save the feature by Jay-Z. It is still good, but the remix with Hova is better. The bonus track is surprisingly good as well. This was not too much of a shock, as this album is going to be one of the best albums of the next year or so. The production on it is stellar. But in general, these bonus tracks are pointless and can be left off. Pressure the artists to release good music and people will buy again. You don’t need gimmicks like this to make people buy the album, all you need is good music.

Caught this over at banklocator. I’ve bolded my favorites.

1. If you owe someone money, always pay them back in a bar. Preferably during happy hour.
2. Always toast before doing a shot.
3. Whoever buys the shot gets the first chance to offer a toast.
4. Change your toast at least once a month.
5. Buying someone a drink is five times better than a handshake.
6. Buying a strange woman a drink is still cool. Buying all her drinks is dumb.
7. Never borrow more than one cigarette from the same person in one night.
8. When the bartender is slammed, resist the powerful urge to order a slightly-dirty, very-dry, in-and-out, super-chilled half-and-half martini with a lemon twist. Limit orders to beer, straight shots and two-part cocktails. (especially when i’m in line behind you)
9. Get the bartender’s attention with eye contact and a smile.
10. Do not make eye contact with the bartender if you do not want a drink.