Today we are in the throes of a slow return to a world of more personal connection between companies and their customers. Web 2.0 is allowing it, and for some people perhaps it is a new concept, but in fact it dates back to the beginning of commerce, to individual barter or the local market and the personal connection between those selling or buying the goods. For a long time we have engineered and marketed and grown our way out of this type of connection, and it is still quite startling when you see it happen in a genuine … Read more
"Sometimes you just want to go out immediately, with reckless abandon."
So says the front page of CrazyBlindDate.com, which aims to get people together on sporadic blind dates with very little notice. The site--whose creators also are responsible for OKCupid.com--was soft-launched in Austin awhile back and officially entered a beta phase on Tuesday with new urban centers in New York, Boston, and San Francisco. The interface is sleek, and the concept is cool, but with this kind of thing it's really all about the people who use it.
Short version: You fill out a … Read more
In case you think that noodles are not serious business here you might be interested in this fancy new Ramen Radar application (Windows only, cursed beast) that tracks ramen shops based on peoples reports.
Just when the trains and crowds of Tokyo start to make you nuts, something like this comes along and renews my faith in humanity.
Here is why Guitar Hero III should change its name to Conrad I: because Conrad puts the rad in Conrad.
Red wine is a drink with a dark side. We praise it for its full body, long legs, and exquisite nose, but the bacchanalian beverage has long been accused of being particularly prone to giving people headaches. Some people have such a sensitivity to red wine that they can't drink it at all.
Now, the Associated Press has good news for all you wine lovers. Scientists have speculated that the chemical culprit in red wine might be biogenic amines, like histamines. And although that hasn't been proved for certain yet, a group of UC Berkeley researchers working on … Read more
Are the Ask.com programmers a bunch of beer-drinking Linux lovers with hot cousins, or is this truly what's on searchers' minds?
Among the features added to Ask.com since its sleek makeover in June are auto suggestions that appear as you type.
A friend steered me toward this Thursday night after trying to find out if it's legal for a landlord to charge for water in New Jersey. I reminded him that you no longer have to phrase your Ask.com search in the form of a question, then tried it myself and grabbed this screenshot.
You … Read more
Halloween is the one day of the year when it's OK to go all-out on a geeky costume. CNET News.com reporter Caroline McCarthy gave us 10 suggestions for techie Halloween costumes this year.
While we editors didn't see any dancing Mark Cubans or software pirates (believe us, we kept our eyes peeled), we did see a pair of LOLCats, a Nintendo Wii avatar, and...Facebook. Brace yourself for our techie Halloween slide show, and start your planning for next year.
Leaving aside my somewhat atypical views on death and ancestor worship, the concept of mixing up a cocktail of printer inks and ashes of dead people to create memorial prints--at $70 to $150 bucks a pop--leaves me with a big case of the ickies. But inkafterlife.com clearly feels no such squeamishness.
Who knows--there may be some big subculture of Goth scrapbookers out there waiting for just such a confluence of hobbies. And similar urn-obsolescing products such as Carbon Gems, Breath Capture and Petglash make bringing out your dead look like a booming cottage industry.
Perhaps the sadder commentary is … Read more
For readers who remember the classic Father of the Bride scene where the wedding is almost called off because the groom bought a blender for the bride-to-be, there's a new service called Gift Girl, which might put an end to such mistakes. The site is designed to help men buy gifts for their female significant others by offering up a small, targeted selection of items for womenfolk, hand picked by the site's creators, one of whom, incidentally, has that newfangled XX chromosome.
Gifts are broken down into basic categories like jewelry, clothing, and "accessories." You can … Read more