Category Archives: humor

Glasses for the masses, but not for me…yet

You’re probably aware that Google Glass will be more widely available before the end of the year. For the most part, sales of Google Glass have been limited to a small group of people, including developers and others, who join Google’s Explorer program by invitation. The purpose of the Explorer program is to shape the future of Google Glass.

But just the other day, Google announced that it would sell Google Glass during a one-day sale on April 15. I guess tax day was the perfect time to decide what to do with your tax return. That had a lot of people excited.

“Every day we get requests from those of you who haven’t found a way into the program yet, and we want your feedback too,” said the folks at Google. “So in typical Explorer program fashion, we’re trying something new.”

According to Google, Google Glass is for everyone from moms to mountain climbers. That doesn’t sound like it includes me, but maybe it does. I am a dad and I like to hike. And I am from the United States and over 18 years old, two other requirements to purchase Google Glass.

I didn’t take advantage of Google’s April 15 offer. But I have to be honest: I don’t think I want a pair of Google Glass. Why? I’ve been thinking about the $1,500 price tag, not including tax.

I could probably afford a pair of Google’s spectacles. After all, I am getting a tax return this year. Although I owe the state $750, I’m getting a bit more than $1,500 from the feds. I’ve been thinking about all of the things I can do with that money. We need new shingles, but since $1,500 doesn’t even come close to replacing the roof over our heads, I think that can wait another year. And I will be needing new tires for my car. But that can wait until the next inspection. But, my anniversary is approaching in a few days. I could take my wife to a nice dinner, the theatre, and even buy her that beautiful lithograph I saw her admiring in a local gallery last month. And I’d still have some cash left over.

Google Glass has helped me to see more clearly that I don’t need to see and enjoy everything through technology. I still have my smartphone, my laptop, and my desktop. For now, that’s enough.

OK, maybe there are days when Google Glass sometimes sounds a bit appealing to me. Maybe I’m half way there. But as I look at the people who are modeling Google Glass, I just don’t look that sophisticated let alone that beautiful/handsome/sexy. Maybe a monocle would be more my style. Google Monocle? Maybe I’m on to something. I’ll wait to see if the Explorers contact me.

Paperweight Magazine: The First Ever App-Only Humor Source

Paperweight - A Moderately Cultured Humor MagazinePeople like laughing, and people also like apps. So when comedians/entrepreneurs Chris Duffy and Brian Perry announced the creation of Paperweight Magazine, a comedy magazine app, it seemed like a logical endeavor–not the potentially revolutionary one it might become. Despite there being a plethora of humor-inspired apps and mainstream comedy newspapers, magazines, and websites, there isn’t an app that is solely devoted to hilarious written word. This is what makes Paperweight Magazine so exciting–there is literally nothing like it.

Unlike McSweeney’s or CollegeHumor, which started as a print journal and a website, respectively, and were subsequently forced to generate tablet-friendly versions to keep up with the times, Paperweight Magazine is app-first. In fact, there will be no Paperweight Magazine website (or print version, for that matter). But this is all intentional. “The biggest advantage we see to creating an app versus a website is that it allows for more interactive possibilities,” said Chris Duffy, who is Paperweight’s head writer and editor. “It allows our pieces to have more of the reader’s focus and not resort to cheap bits to keep someone’s attention from wandering every half a second.” Even though apps are certainly the wave of the near future, Duffy did admit that “figuring out how content can be shared socially [is] something that we’re working on right now,” and could be an initial challenge.

Social sharing hurdles aside, Duffy and Perry are confident that embracing the app format will separate Paperweight Magazine from what seems to be a saturated comedy market. “We’re focused on building an app that bridges the divide between static articles and interactive content,” said Brian Perry, who is the lead developer. “We’ll have articles and cartoons, but we’ll also have pieces that could never exist on a web page or in a printed magazine. Great humor contains an element of surprise and we’re building a magazine that will surprise readers with its capabilities. It’s going to be a magazine that can talk back to you.”

But Paperweight Magazine isn’t quite a reality yet, as it is still looking to raise the proper funds via Kickstarter to get it off the ground. The good news is that the app magazine is just a week-plus into its fund-raising effort, and has already accumulated more than 79% of its target goal ($11,839 of $15,000). With 15 days to go, it’s a good bet that Paperweight Magazine will raise the full $15,000 (or more), and Duffy and Perry will finally see their dream come true.

Follow Paperweight Magazine on Twitter at @PaperweightMag or on Facebook here.

 

Mozy Mobile Apps

Frightful Haiku Contest 2.0 Winners!

Mozy Frightful Haiku Contest WinnersThe winners of our Frightful Haiku contest have been chosen! Everyone who entered did a great job capturing the fear and devestation that a hard drive crash, viruses, and other computer problems can cause. For a scary good time, be sure to read through all of the entries here.

Congratulations to our winners!

Grand Prize Winner:

Wind whips through the cloud
Malware-wolves lurk in shadows
Full hard drive tonight

- chelroos

Runners Up:

Windows crashes hard.
Screen flickers. Zombie attack?
Did I save my work?

- Darryl L.

Writing an essay
Without a computer is
The one true nightmare

- Ryan H.

Mom tries to cut, paste
Deletes a picture from screen
Thinks it’s in the mouse.

- Describli

We’ve attempted to contact all winners – if you haven’t heard from us, please email contest@mozy.com by 5:00 pm MST on Nov. 2 to claim your prize! Congratulations again to our winners, and thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for an upcoming contest right around the corner!

Frightful Computer Haiku Contest v 2.0

Two years ago, we laughed and we cried as we read through your submissions in our first edition of the “Frightful Computer Haiku Contest”. This year, we’re bringing the contest back. We want your scary computer related haikus! Comment on this post with your haiku to enter to win $50!

Mozy Frightful Haiku Halloween Contest

Need a refresher on how to create a haiku? It’s simple. Line one is five syllables, line two is seven syllables, and line three is five syllables. If you need to, you can make sure your haiku has the right arrangement of syllables using haikuchecker.com.

Here is an example:

My awesome laptop
Had no chance in a fight with
My neighbor’s dumb cat

We’ll choose our four favorites, and here are the prizes you could win:

  • Grand prize: $50 Amazon.com gift card
  • Three runners up will receive $25 Amazon.com gift cards.
  • The winning haikus will also be featured on our Facebook page and Twitter account.

To enter: Simply comment on your post with your frightful computer haiku.

Rules:

  • Your haiku must be original. Don’t just copy one of the ones someone submitted last time (or this time), because that’s just lame. And we will be checking.
  • Your haiku must be awesome, but this goes without saying.
  • One entry per person. Please do not submit the same haiku over and over again.
  • Submit your haiku by Oct. 26, 11:59 PM MDT. Winners will be announced on Monday, Oct. 29.

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? So get your haiku on and submit away! Like this contest? Click here to tweet it!

Ways Back to College Has Changed Since the 80s

September means many things to many people.

For football fans, it’s the beginning of how they will shape their lives for the next five months as the NFL gets its season underway.

For the parents of youngsters, it’s a small sigh of relief as school once again resumes, bringing more of a set schedule to their children and more peace to the household.

Here at the Jersey Shore, it means the fist-pumping, club-going crowds that unfortunately represent this scenic stretch of coastline return to points north, a sort of migration carried out under the power of Escalades and new Camaros.

Ways Back to School Has ChangedAnd for a good percentage of those who graduated high school in the spring, it means heading off to college and entering one of the most important phases of a young adult’s life. While nearly all colleges and universities are physically the same as they were in the ‘80s and ‘90s, there are some pretty significant differences in how incoming freshmen from decades past and those who are a part of the class of 2016 settle in to campus life.

Here is a look at the differences between heading off to college in the age of Facebook and text-speak  and going off to college in the awesome ‘80s.

Keep It Light

In the ‘80s, things were bigger. Hair was bigger (although it still is at the Jersey Shore). Microwaves were bigger. TV’s were bigger. And PCs were bigger and something your girlfriend’s nerdy older brother had in his bedroom (along with Dungeons & Dragons posters). Moving into your dorm room in the ‘80s required some heavy lifting, as it seems electronics of the ‘80s defied logic and physics (how could a black-and-white TV with a 13-inch screen require three people to carry it?)

Flat-screen TVs of today can be carried under one arm while keeping your other hand free to take video of your first steps on campus while simultaneously checking out your new roommate’s Facebook photos.

Make a Connection

Keeping in touch with family back home and friends now scattered throughout the country once required breaking out pen and paper and finding a stamp (a “stamp” is something issued by the government that allowed you to send something hundreds, even thousands, of miles away for just pennies) and mailing a letter.

Or if you really wanted to summon the wrath of your parents, who just shelled out $1,500 for your first year of university schooling (yes, things were cheaper in the ‘80s), you’d dial up your buddy at UNLV, talk on a land line for 20 minutes, and rack up a $75 phone bill (yes, some things were more expensive in the ‘80s).

Today, there really is no disconnect. Communicating is for the most part cheaper, and something you can do instantaneously. Perfect for requesting more Top Ramen or a regional delicacy from home, such as pork roll. Pork roll is a Jersey thing, often traded like a precious metal on faraway campuses.

Book Smart, Pound Foolish

Doing research and writing papers used to require a bit more heavy lifting, from the 42-pound word processor used to churn out Psych 101 papers to the 8-inch-thick book on Chaucer checked out from your school’s library.

Of course, students today still use books and libraries, but there is a growing reliance on, and acceptance of, using tablet computers for everything from note-taking to conducting research to actually replacing college textbooks.

Fashion-Forward

One would like to say the fashion of the ‘80s remains just where it belongs – 30 years in the past and seen only in dog-eared photographs in some forgotten box in the attic. But what’s old is new again, and from neon sunglasses to polos with the collar raised, elements of the ‘80s are alive and well at today’s institutions of higher learning.

Let’s just hope these don’t make a comeback.

Fast facts from August 1986 and August 2012

Weekend Box Office:

1986: Stand By Me, Top Gun

2012: The Expendables 2, The Bourne Legacy

Top of the Charts:

1986: Madonna, “True Blue”; Top Gun Soundtrack

2012: Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Getting Back Together”; Flo Rida, “Whistle”

Car of Choice:

1986: Chevrolet Celebrity; Ford Escort

2012: Ford F-Series truck; Toyota Camry

Cost of Annual Tuition, Private, Non-Profit Four-Year School:

1986: $10,000

2012: $35,000

Siri, Texas Ranger

In the 1967 classic film “Cool Hand Luke,” one of the main characters, the Captain, utters one of the most classic lines in cinema: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

It’s a phrase that lends itself well to a number of circumstances. Like Apple’s Siri.

Siri, the voice-activated digital assistant on the iPhone 4S, was last summer’s must-have smartphone feature. This summer? Not so much. To back up this claim, see what the New York Times had to say about Siri last summer compared to this summer.

Last year, the Times’ David Pogue was clearly taken with Siri’s responses to certain questions. His headline: Siri Is One Funny Lady.

“If you don’t laugh at some of Siri’s responses, there’s something wrong with your funnybone,” Pogue wrote then, in response to these tidbits:

You: “I need to hide a body.”

Siri: “What kind of place are you looking for?”

Siri then offers you a list of choices like Reservoirs, Metal Foundries, Mines, Dumps and Swamps.

You: “Who’s your daddy?”

Siri: “You are. Can we get back to work now?”

You: “Open the pod bay doors.”

Siri: “I’m sorry, Joshua. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Sure, the responses were funny the first time, but as time wore on and the benefits of Siri waned, the dynamic with Siri also changed. There was a failure to communicate. Just see how the Times switched up its tune.

Last month’s headline: With Apple’s Siri, a Romance Gone Sour

Writer Nick Bilton chronicled how things went south between him and Siri.

“We met at an Apple product announcement in Cupertino, Calif. She was helpful, smart and even funny, cracking sarcastic jokes and making me laugh. What more could a guy ask for?

“Since then, we have had some major communication issues. She frequently misunderstands what I’m saying. Sometimes she is just unavailable. Often, she responds with the same, repetitive statement.”

Funny, but true.

With the next iPhone release expected somewhere in the near future, let’s hope one of the improvements made to the otherwise stellar device involves Siri. After all, she was released as a beta, meaning there were bugs to be worked out and a conceded room for improvement. She could use a bit of an upgrade.

But before I write her off completely, I figured I’d ask a few questions not so much for their humorous aspect, but in the event you find yourself in a do-or-die, “Walker, Texas Ranger” style situation. Walker, if you remember, was a character played by Chuck Norris who somehow always found himself battling it out with an assortment of Japanese gangs or corrupt parole officers.

Me: “How do you untie knots?”

Siri: “Checking on that for you. How about a Web search for ‘How do you untie knots?’”

Google pointed me to a climbing site and a YouTube video on how to untie a square knot. At least she understood the question.

Me: “How do you unlock a trunk from the inside?”

Siri: “Hmmm. Let me think. How about a Web search?”

A Web search turned up a helpful wikihow page titled “7 Tips on How to Escape From the Trunk of a Car.”

Walker would be impressed. I’m sure he would’ve benefited from having Siri as a sidekick. Which isn’t a bad idea if this voice-activated digital assistant gig doesn’t work out. Siri could always help Chuck Norris battle bank robbers and prove the innocence of the wrongfully accused.

One final question.

Me: “How do you stop Chuck Norris?”

Siri, in a beautifully redeeming moment, came back with a video. That video was called “You Can’t Stop Chuck Norris.”

Smart lady.

Image Credit: Chuck Norris Action Jeans / Sarah B. Brooks / CC BY 2.0