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David Kramer's high-entropy blog

Worst Barbecue Ever

Check out this YouTube video showing the Barbecook grill.  This is ridiculous.  I get poked fun at because I grill with gas (then again, I often grill three times a week, and in the dead of winter).  But here you have a grill that uses coal, but the food’s never directly over the coals.  I’m sorry, if the drippings aren’t hitting the heat source, and that flavor ending up back on the food, it ain’t grilling.

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ABC’s The Middleman coming to DVD

According to io9, The Middleman complete series will be released on DVD 07/28/09.  This was a really fun show cut down in its prime.  If you haven’t heard of this show before, check out this fan-generated Wiki and this LiveJournal blog.   It had great dialog, culture references, characters, and plot complications, and was so over the top it regularly banged its head on the ceiling.  Unfortunately, it’s not in Netflix’s database yet, but when it is, I’ll link to it here.

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Microsoft Rebrands Its “Live Search” As “Bing”

Slashdot brings us this article on Microsoft trying to invent the search engine.  Again.  Because what hotter name could you possibly think of for a search engine than “Bing”?  Note that it’s Bing as in cherries, not Bling as in jewelry.

I did reply to the post with a Faulty Financial Comparison warning for comparing Microsoft’s net loss to Google’s gross profits

Update:

A later article on FastCompany filled in some more details.  The big new functionality in Bing is that you don’t just tell it keywords to match linguistically with, you tell it the kind of thing you’re looking for (a business, a person, a service, a book,…) and it uses its “Decision Engine” to return pages on that kind of thing.   I hope it’s either very good or very bad.  Because if it’s sorta OK, it will get in the way of true Semantic Web work that can solve these problems right.

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Why Are the Most Creative People in Business Skipping Out on Web 2.0?

FastCompany was, until fairly recently, a really good monthly magazine focused on design, innovation, business accumen, and success and failure stories.  It’s important to me to keep up on both technology and business (follow the bits with one eye, and the money with the other), and that magazine really rounded out my reading.  Now they’re completely online, and a daily email gives me a small dose of the same brilliant stories and ideas.  I certainly enjoyed the magazine, but I admit I’m very short on reading time these days.

Today’s post has an article on how the most creative people (determined by them, of course) generally don’t twitter or facebook or scrob or blog (though there are notable exceptions). The author’s theory is that it’s not the time involved that prevents them from publishing, but the lack of apparent ROI for doing so.  They don’t see the value in it, and powerful busy people don’t do things that aren’t going to benefit them in some tangible way.

Louis Gray, a seasoned technology blogger, blames the “corporate” mentality. Even though it seems like everyone (read: Oprah) is talking about Twitter, he says, the service primarily caters to young people and early adopters. Ditto Flickr and Last.fm. Older, more experienced CEOs and CEO-types–many of whom populate our list–are more reluctant to play along, especially if they don’t see any significant ROI on their 140 character missives. “We saw the same thing happen with blogs,” Gray explains. “Big businesspeople aren’t just going to start sharing themselves on the Internet for no reason. They need to hear about these services from trusted third parties,” such as friends, family, analysts and PR consultants.

Read on…

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