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Lose Weight The HP Way September 19, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, hp, Microsoft, soapbox, Technology and Gadgets.
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One of the features of many new HP cameras is a “slimming effect” that you can apply to photos with which “anyone can appear more slender—instantly.” Don Havlik at Gizmodo summed it well “Here’s a new camera from HP that’ll help you answer that age-old – but always tricky – question from your girlfriend: “Do these jeans make me look fat?”

This is great news for me and the rest of the lazy people in the world. No longer do I need to exercise or eat right. Nope! Instead I can hang up my running shoes and get as husky as I want, and with a click of a button I become a lean mean fighting machine. This is especially useful for me since I rarely see the people I work with, and most of my friends and family live in different states. The only way these people ever see me is in the pictures I post, and thanks to HP, they will never need to know what a fat slob I’ve become.

Here is an example showing the results of slimming feature:

Slimmer

This innovation by HP makes me wonder what other flaws and shortcomings we can disguise with technology. Could HP also add other appearence altering features that would make short people taller, blad people hairier, and ugly people less so? Maybe Microsoft could add a feature to Word along the lines of the spell checker and grammar checker called “stupid content checker”. With this, if someone typed “George W. Bush is the greatest president ever” Word would change it to “George W. Bush is president” Also, wouldn’t it be nice if auto makers could add “bad driving prevention” features that would do such things as automatically increase a vehicle’s speed to at least the speed limit when driven in the passing lane.

I’d write more, but it is time to go fix myself a milkshake and some cheeseburgers for breakfast.

Is Microsoft Copying Me? September 14, 2006

Posted by Andy in andy roth, Microsoft, soapbox.
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You know you’ve arrived when Microsoft rips you off.  Just ask any diehard Apple supporter.  Or notice how many of the “new” features in IE7 are familiar to Firefox users.

After 10 years and nearly 1000 hits, Microsoft seems to have noticed Andy’s SoapBox.  It seems Bill Gates and crew will be coming out with a soapbox of their own.  Sure, mine is a blog and theirs is a YouTube clone, but it would be an amazing coincidence for them to use “soapbox”.  It does not even make sense since a soapbox historically was something on which one would stand when speaking to a group of people.  Sounds like a blog to me much more than a video sharing service.

Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but could this be some form of retribution for me cancelling my xbox live subscription (got tired of having 10 year olds consistently killing me)?

Don’t get me wrong. Though I know it is cool to hate Microsoft, I actually don’t. Clippy aside, I think they make decent stuff.  I’m just a bit rankled that they are moving in on my turf.  I’m watching you, Bill!

Big Heads at Dogfish Head September 9, 2006

Posted by Andy in beer, Dogfish Head.
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Last Wednesday, I went on the free tour of the Dogfish Head brewery in Milton, Delaware. I’ve always been a fan of brewery tours, and not just for the free samples. I think it is fun and interesting to see how things are made. One of my dreams in life is to tour the M&M’s factory so I can see for myself how they get those M’s on there. But I digress.

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Dogfish brewery is fairly large and rapidly expanding to keep up with the expanding demand for their brews. The tour began at 3:30 with the tour meister, whose name I never learned, greeting us from between the bar and wall o’ merchandise. He spoke over a wireless headset that broadcast from a handheld speaker that he carried around. The fidelity and background noise was such that I often found it hard to understand what he was saying (thus me not knowing his name). The gist of the first part was that they started off really small but are so great that they keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger. The “how great they are” was kind of the theme of the whole tour. During this stage, we got to try samples of their seasonal Punkin Ale and their 90 Minute IPA. I enjoyed the first so much that I bought a case to take home, so I have that to look forward to, which is nice. I liked the second more that I expected since I am not heavy into hops.

The next part of the tour went through where the beer is brewed (picture dozens of large silver tanks) and bottled (picture many bottles rolling down a line like in the opening to Laverne & Shirley, minus the glove and Laverne, and Shirley). Unnamed Tour Gguide seemed to phone in this part of the tour like he did it three times a week, and it also seemed rushed. We got a peek into the warehouse, which was about as exciting as you’d expect a warehouse to be. I think he showed it to us for us to gasp at it’s size. They also gave out more samples.
The third part of the tour was back to the bar, where we were encourgaed to try more samples, and purchase t-shirts. Because of all the samples, the t-shirts really seemed like a good idea (I got the long sleeve mocha shirt and Shelley got a hat). This shot is a fairly accurate depection of how things looked at this point.

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This is also the point at which Unamed Tour Guide said something that really turned me off. I mentioned to him how I lived down the road from Frederick Brewing Company (now called Wild Goose Brewery though they actually are part of Flying Dog). He remarked how he was glad that I now had a chance to try good beer. Okay, Mr. Dogfish Head Man. Sorry I didn’t realize you guys made the only good beer in the world. I guess that’s why Delaware is considered a beer capital of the world.

All that aside, and ignoring the fact that between the case of Punkin Ale, the shirt, and the hat this free tour cost me around $80, I still ecomendend you check out the Dogfish Head brewery tour next time you find yourself in Milton, DE.