Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
It looks like you're new. Click here to learn more.

Tagged stupid human tricks

T-Mobile: We own the color magenta

img14.jpg
Engadget tells the story: “So last week Deutsche Telekom, owners of the global T-Mobile brand, sent Engadget a late birthday present: a hand-delivered letter direct from their German legal department requesting the prompt discontinuation of the use of the color magenta on Engadget Mobile. Yep, seriously.”

If you read the legalese, the company says it “holds trademark protection for this use of this color in connection with its products and services around the world.”

Since when could you copyright a color, even in connection with a product or service? Ridiculous — otherwise Apple could sue any computer-maker that used the color white (though white’s not really a color, so that opens another can of worms).

Atta way to exploit legal muscle, T-Mobile. Nice form. Really. This totally makes me want to stay with you instead of jumping to AT&T’s iPhone.

Visual search is nothing more than a lame gimmick to rival Google

img3.jpg
When will software executives finally learn that speed of functionality will always trump bells and whistles. You’d think RedZee and SearchMe would already know this after the “we’ve got more glitz” Ask.com called it quits last week.

Build a better mouse trap, people — not a sexier one. Google is number one because it returns relevant results faster than others. It takes a lot more than good looks to be “cool.”

Airborne settles false advertising suit for $23M. So who got duped?

Airborne is fraudulentThanks to Good Morning America, we now know that the popular Airborne cold remedy is nothing more than an “extraordinarily expensive Vitamin C delivery system.” A placebo.

The Alka-Seltzer-like mixture originally claimed to be the “miracle cold buster” that could “get rid of most colds in 1 hour.” The company has since watered down those claims, obviously to avoid further litigation.

Continue reading…

Dude, where’s my perspective?

According to a recent Gallup poll, a majority of baseball fans (57%) think Roger Clemens lied last month when he told Congress he had never taken performance enhancing drugs. Despite this, 62 percent of fans surveyed believe Clemens should still be in the Hall of Fame.

What??!!

As a reminder, The Hall of Fame’s motto is “preserving history, honoring excellence, and connecting generations.” Clemens’ induction, if convicted, would preserve history alright, but what about honor and example (read: connecting generations)?

Continue reading…

CP80’s WiFi anti-porn bill is misguided

I applaud what Utah’s CP80 and similar anti-porn groups are trying to do: keep smut away from the curious eyes of children. But some of their ideas are just ridiculous.

Take this one for example: a new bill introduced last month by Rep. Bradley Daw (R-Orem) that seeks to age-gate all wireless networks in Utah, including the one in your home. Failure to comply would result in penalty for the operator, not the offender or offended. In other words, you are your brother’s explicit keeper, by law even — not by agency.

Continue reading…

Bonds, Clemens top list of steroid users

NEW YORK (AP) — Page after page, Roger Clemens’ name was all over the Mitchell Report.Count them, 82 times.

Barry Bonds showed up more often. So did Jose Canseco. Andy Pettitte, Eric Gagne and Miguel Tejada also became part of baseball’s most infamous lineup since the 1919 Black Sox scandal.

But they didn’t get the worst of it Thursday. That infamy belonged to Clemens, the greatest pitcher of his era.

The Steroids Era. continue reading…

You might be a dummy if you bought one of these

According to the Federal Trade Commission (PDF), more than 30 million Americans fell for one of the top 10 scams of 2005.

10. Business Opportunities: .8 mil
9. Credit Repair Scams: 1.2 mil
8. Advance-Fee Loans: 1.7 mil
7. Unauthorized Billing – Internet Services: 1.8 mil
6. Credit Card Insurance: 2.1 mil
5. Work-at-Home Programs: 2.4 mil
4. Prize Promotions: 2.7 mil
3. Unauthorized Billing: Buyers Clubs 3.2 mil
2. Foreign Lottery Scams: 3.2 mil
1. Fraudulent Weight-Loss Products: 4.8 mil

Part of me wants to feel sorry for these 30 million people — just because you can exploit the ignorant doesn’t mean you should. But the other part of me thinks these dupes got what they paid for: succumbing to naivety or believing that cutting corners can produce superfluous results.

Enter the most absolute of all cliches: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” But alas, people don’t want wisdom — they want to avoid hard work at all costs.

[via Consumerist]

Forget all this Pay Per Post parlance, Alibi Network is the real vermin

Not to deflect the well deserved negative press surrounding Pay Per Post, but these are the real schmucks. Alibi Network is in the business of lying. They sell lies for a living, or more specifically “excuses for discreet relationships and extramarital affairs.” Brilliant! Clients pay the company to cover for them via professional sounding phone calls, collateral, etc. Just listen to this ridiculous use case from their FAQ:

“Ann is our client and she has an extramarital affair. It is a short-term discreet encounter and Ann does not want to break her marriage and disappoint her children over it. Obviously, Ann needs an alibi to justify her absence over weekends. Therefore, she contacts Alibi Network each time she wishes to spend time with her partner. Ann accesses our website and chooses an alibi that would best suit her situation (e.g. seminars, conferences, trade shows, etc.). After we receive all the information (e.g. date of the alibi, type, delivery method) we analyze several possible alibis.

As soon as Ann chooses a 3 day Computer Seminar and the delivery method (e.g. either an email, fax, print out from our website, telephone call or mail) and the payment is received, Alibi Network will deliver the alibi to Ann. A detailed course syllabus of the seminar along with the certificate of completion is also available!”

Whoa. That was a close one, Ann. Good thing you paid extra for that bunk certificate. That’d be cool if actual demand wouldn’t sustain this; sadly, I think Alibi Net will do just fine.

“What do you want to be when you grow up, Billy? I wanna sell lies for a living. Yeah!!!”

[via Scott Lemon]

It feels good not to have to be right all of the time

First, let me preface this post with a disclaimer: I come from a long line of individuals that simply must be right all of the time. No inaccuracy, however insignificant, can go uncontested in my immediate family. Part of that stems from the high number of intelligent siblings I grew up with, not to mention two shrewd parents. And while I can’t speak for others, I know my motivation to cross-examine every single statement was — and still is to an extent — rooted in my desire to display how much I know rather than enlighten others with meaningful truths. Truths with value. How noble of me, right?

That said, my feelings have slowly changed over time, especially since courting the beauty and brains that is Lindsey Snow of Seattle, Washington. In the last 4 and a half years of knowing her, Lindsey has taught by example in discerning what warrants correction, and what doesn’t. I can’t imagine how many times she must have let slide something I inaccurately said. I doubt she even acknowledged the act, rather opting to just let it go. At the same time — and while typically a quiet individual — Lindsey will readily stand up for something that matters; a material truth. “What matters,” you ask? I’ll leave that up to you, but I do know the order someone was cut from a reality show or what color shirt someone was wearing (when not profiling a criminal, of course) doesn’t matter.

I’ve been presented with three opportunities in the last week alone to correct another individual on some minute detail. In realizing what was important, I decided against correction without telling myself, “Don’t worry, Blake. You REALLY know what s/he doesn’t.” I just moved on in the moment, and it felt really good. Like, “Wow, that was really nice. I should do this more often,” good.

So, yeah. It’s a refreshing experience not to have to be right all of the time. There I go boasting again…