Published by Derek Moore on 20 May 2008

Woot!

One of the best deals around is Woot!  Especially when they have a woot-off.  One of the most elusive things to get is the Bag of Crap.  If you don’t know what this is, let me explain.

When Woot! is having its woot-off, one item will suddenly appear called “Random Crap” with a price of $1 + $5 shipping.  You can order up to a maximum of 3 bags, which you should absolutely do, because the shipping cost is $5 whether you order 1 or 3.  Woot! makes no promises as to what you get … you simply get what they throw in the box.

But you can get some weird stuff.  Case in point…

I found this on my doorstep this morning.  This is from the woot-off two weeks ago, in which I managed to get a Bag of Crap, after trying 3 times over the past six months.  The contents of the box are these:

  • 1 iRobot Roomba Discovery (with what looks like all its parts), worth ~$150.
  • 12 boxes of 18 pods of Dark Sienna coffee (216 pots of coffee, wow!), worth ~$60-70
  • 1 Woot! bucket, worth ???
  • 1 Die-cast metal toy, worth ~$10.

Not a bad deal for $8.

Published by Derek Moore on 14 May 2008

The rigged 1985 NBA Draft Lottery

I was reading an article on Newsday.com about Mike D’Antoni going to coach the Knicks (for the life of me, I have no idea why). But the article mentions one thing which got me thinking:

The Knicks also have a lottery pick in the upcoming draft and, if things fall their way, hope to be in position to draft point guard Derrick Rose of Memphis… The Knicks, who sit in the fifth position, have not won it since 1985, when they drafted Patrick Ewing.

For years, I’ve heard rumors about the 1985 Draft Lottery. It was the first year they implemented the lottery, and it was a straight 1/7 odds of getting the first draft pick. Everyone knew that the first pick would be Ewing.

Because the Knicks lived and worked in the same city as the NBA offices, the Knicks were a source of embarrasment for the league. In the years leading up to the ‘85 draft, the Knicks stank, going 24-58 in ‘84-85. They had been .500 or below for over a decade, and, rumor has it, the NBA wanted it to stop.

So, the facts of the case were these: Indiana and Golden State finished w/ worse records (22-60) than the Knicks. So, a two-step process was enacted. First, instead of having a coin-flip between the Pacers and Warriors (as they had always done before), the NBA implemented the lottery, to put the Knicks in play for #1. Then, when it comes time to pick their envelope, mark their envelope, so you can draw them #1.

Think its crazy? Check out the evidence at about 4:50 in:

As the guy puts the envelopes in, one envelope gets knocked around pretty good, and has its corners bent-up. That was the envelope that was the Knicks’ envelope (the one he pulled out at about 5:30). Also note how Stern looks down at what envelope he’s picking, and goes by several others to pick the bent-corner envelope. Only after that does he not look at what envelopes he’s picking.

I mention this because of the upcoming draft lottery . The Knicks, once again, stink. I sure hope people won’t look back at the 2008 lottery and wonder if it too was rigged.

Published by Derek Moore on 10 May 2008

So I wasn’t the only one to complain

http://www.charlotte.com/109/story/617846.html

A followup to my post yesterday, our local paper had an article today about overzealous weather policies by local TV stations.  Let me say again, I whole-heartedly agree with WBTV’s recent change to cover severe weather w/ a crawl, and only break-in to coverage when absolutely necessary.

By insisting on breaking-in to coverage at the drop of a hat, WSOC and WCNC are going to find themselves cyring wolf.

Published by Derek Moore on 09 May 2008

TV weather geeks need to be banned from the air

http://justyouwatch.blogspot.com/2008/05/tornadoes-ruin-big-tv-night.html

I couldn’t believe my eyes tonight as I witnessed both our local ABC and NBC affiliates here in Charlotte allowed the weather geeks to run roughshod over the station managers and interrupted Earl, Office, Scrubs, 30 Rock, Grey’s, etc., simply because of a few severe thunderstorms.

I don’t mean to minimize the plight of the people in the storms. But when I’m inside a severe storm, the last thing I have is a TV. Either the power is out, or cable is out. Consequently, the only people who care about your First Warn Super Doppler 3000 report CAN’T EVEN SEE IT! Meanwhile, the rest of us are sitting there, without a single raindrop falling, looking at Steve Udelson’s dorky face telling us every 45 secs to seek shelter. ITS A TORNADO, STEVE! THEY KNOW THAT! For two solid hours tonight, one station kept repeating the same information over and over and over every 3 minutes.

The problem is that weather geeks have gone too far. The stations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on massive radar and computer systems, and feel they have to justify the expense by interrupting regular programming every time it starts raining.

The last time they did something like this, our local CBS affiliate interrupted the broadcast of the ACC basketball tournament this year because we got a 1/2 inch of rain in an hour. Yea. They’re still sorting through the hate mail from that one. So wisely, tonight, the CBS affiliate learned their lesson and showed the normal programming, but showed a crawl across the bottom of the screen, and the weather guy was only on during commercials.

So, bravo to WBTV (CBS). WCNC (NBC) and WSOC (ABC), I hope your weather geeks guys go stand on top of your radar towers the next time a storm hits, and do us all a favor.

Published by Derek Moore on 02 Oct 2007

So True…

It’s hard being the tech guy.

Published by Derek Moore on 21 Sep 2007

This is the future…

If ‘Net Neutrality is lost,  this will be your “choice” left:

Pic

Published by Derek Moore on 12 Sep 2007

On Vacation

I will be on vacation until Friday.  That means I will not be answering any email until then.  See ya!

Published by Derek Moore on 09 Sep 2007

US Broadband: Pathetic

Yea, not exactly breaking news. But this article from DailyTech, says that in the UK, most people have a choice of maybe 100-200 high-speed ISPs to choose from, while here in the US, you might have two or three (cable, DSL, or FiOS if you’re lucky).

Now, I realize that the US is geographically much larger, and therefore much more expensive to wire. But not that expensive. There’s no reason (other than the monopolistic practices of the telecomms) that we shouldn’t have at least 7-8 ways to get broadband in any major metro area.

Ultimately, the biggest problem w/ broadband is lack of choice.  More choice would give more speed for less price.

Published by Derek Moore on 06 Sep 2007

“I ain’t got time to ____”

80%The Movie Quiz

Published by Derek Moore on 14 Aug 2007

(917) 213-2170 - New York, NY

I’ve seen this on my CallerID today 7 times. Today…. When I pick up? No one’s there. But this isn’t the first time, oh no. Over the last year or so, I’ve seen this number maybe 75-100 times. So, who are they?

According to this, they belong to a company in Chennai, India named either “Global Prescription Services”, “Global Discount Drugs“, or “International Drug Mart“.

According to WhoCalled.Us, they have a 1-866 number.  One more call, and I’m going to call them and hang up… about 30 times.

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