I Like Ford

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Every now and then I take a look at what the car companies are doing, just to keep up and all. I typically look at what’s happening in my market, the one I’d look at if I had to buy a car tomorrow. Really that means I’m looking for 3 basic things: Is it affordable? Can I see myself driving it? What happens if it breaks? You might have your own questions, but that is essentially my mindset.

[Notice: You won’t find technical jargon or specy stuff here, just to save you the trouble if that’s what you’re looking for.]

So I went to the 3 companies I naturally gravitate towards: Lamborghini, Lotus, and Mazerati. They had nice cars and stuff. Then I went to the 3 companies I look at to fulfill my basic qualifications: Toyota, Ford, and Honda. Now I’m not one to usually give into overblown press like Toyota has been receiving, but I have to admit it didn’t make me all  that excited plus the cars really aren’t changing that much over the next year. Honda always as something I like. The Element SC is probably one of my favorites, but I’ve been told that the rear doors can be troublesome, at least in getting in and out. However, it gets a little expensive for the SC model, which really leaves me looking at the Civic (which is what I have now and love). But I know Honda, so I decided I owe it to myself to at least look at Ford. Longer story shorter, I like Ford. I like what they are doing. I like how creative they are becoming. I like that they are looking to the future. I like their design aesthetic. Specifically, I LOVE what they are doing with the 2012 Focus. It looks pretty (and I’m a design nut), it allows for form and function, and the price looks killer. Granted, all this is based on pre-production models so none of this could be true in about a year, but what are the odds of that happening? The SYNC technology is now a couple years old so the major bugs have been worked out, and the idea of it makes me pretty excited. That means a lot coming from a Mac. The website didn’t say much about actual specs, but I’m sure they are out there. In fact, I think a similar model is already being sold in Europe (Bonus points to the person who finds that link). So, I look forward to the day I sit in one to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be. Anyway, for those of you who don’t read blogs but like shiny things and pictures, here is a shot or two of what’s coming.

Amazing Kindle

I was watching SNL this weekend and I magically saw one of the new “amazing Kindle” commercials while forwarding through on the TIVO. The moment I watched it I thought two things:

  1. Wow, that was awesome!
  2. Reminds me of something….

Don’t mistake my second thought to be something negative. I think it’s pretty sweet to see Amazon going after the same audience as […], you guess. All this to say, I like these commercials. They have good music, are well made, and are memorable. Good work Amazon.

When Harry Met Edward

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Photo from Screenrant.com

Remember a couple years ago when all anyone could talk about was Harry Potter? Parents debating whether it was okay for their children to read it, teenagers and adults alike reading every word and waiting in line for next releases? So where is Harry Potter now? The answer is that he and his friends have been dramatically eclipsed by vampires, mostly Twilight. Everywhere you turn today you’ll find something new on vampires, like maybe Seth Grahame-Smith’s new Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (affiliate link), or CW’s The Vampire Diaries, or maybe even HBO’s True Blood.

Here’s my super intelligent marketing analysis:

The Harry Potter marketers kind of screwed up when it came to the movies. The books were awesome, that’s obvious. I’m not entirely sure whether it was planned this way or if it was a result of extended production, but the time span between movie releases killed the vibe (until the next one hits the theaters I’m sure). I know we had the writers strike and a lull in movie releases, but come on, 2 movies in 4 years? When you have a cash cow/star on your hands, that’s really not an option.

Twilight on the other hand is capitalizing. All the books are out and the movies are releasing 7 months – 1 year apart. They’re staying hot and top of mind. If your comparing production or acting, eh, there’s room for improvement, but at least they are out there.

Keep in mind I’m not saying Harry Potter is terrible and Twilight is amazing, just commenting on two different strategies. It will definitely be interesting to see the type of hype that is generated for the next HP release, and of course, the time span between Part 1 and 2. We know it all comes down to the fans anyway.

American Idol Commentary

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Let’s be honest, the judges on American Idol are OFTEN inconsistent. Their comments are often only spoken representations of what flavor they are looking for that night (Simon is the exception – he’s just honest and is usually right…usually). I have nothing against any of the judges really, they’re all nice people, but I feel bad for the contestants who receive mixed advice week after week. So, I’ve narrowed down the essence of what each contestant should keep in mind for song choice each week as I am clearly the authority:

  1. Be relevant: You can say this about almost all business, especially socially centered businesses. I’d say the music industry is socially centered. An example would be fan communities. So, with that said, be relevant to your community.
  2. Sing your age: It does nothing for the judges and probably the rest of the country when a 16 or 17 year old sings and oldy…no matter how good the oldy is. That means that if the theme for the week is soul and R&B, and Usher is the mentor, pick a contemporary of Usher, it’s better for everyone.
  3. Dress for the job you want: I know there’s something to be said about standing out or being your own person, but there’s a line. Don’t wear things that make people question your appearance more than love your singing. The exception to this rule would be Lady Gaga, but she is neither an American Idol contestant nor a rookie in the commercial music industry.
  4. Speak when asked to speak: I know people cheer and stuff when the contestants talk back to the judges, but the truth is that it’s just awkward to watch. Let your fans speak for you.

The performances this week were okay. There were definitely shining stars though, and so, for that reason, I leave you with this video, my favorite performance of the night:

Dropbox FTW

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I had heard things about this service, Dropbox. In a nutshell, Dropbox gives you that ability to store your files in one place, online, and access them from any computer (or your iPhone or iPod touch). It kind of gets around the whole “email it to yourself” back door, especially if the file you want to email is bigger than 25 mB (Gmail’s limit) or even 100 MB (Yousendit’s free limit). With the free account, you get 2 GB of online storage space which you can share across your own computers, and also create access for specific people to share as well.

The way I used it yesterday was to store my 102 MB music file and share it with one of my friends. He downloaded it without a problem, added his musical touches, then uploaded a new one that I just downloaded. They tell me the servers are encrypted and transmission of file data happens over an SSL encrypted channel.

There are some cool features which I haven’t gotten to fully explore yet. One includes the ability to download a dropbox “folder” to your computer which acts as an uploading mechanism. So, for example, you’d safe your document into the dropbox folder and it would then be accessible on all your devices and through any other internet enabled device. So, for what it’s worth, this could be something cool you keep in your back pocket.