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Journal: Solar power: The most obvious thing EVER

Journal by Nerdposeur
Gasoline costs a lot, smells bad, is flammable, pollutes the earth, and entangles us in world politics in nasty ways.

Solar power is available nearly everywhere, is clean, and will never run out as long as the Earth is inhabitable.

Why aren't we researching like mad to make it cost-effective? Why don't we have more incentives to use it? If a home solar system could be subsidized to pay for itself more quickly, more people would use it. If they did, there would be a bigger market, and more competition for it. Better products, lower costs, etc etc. The whole world would benefit, and we'd be energy-independant.

I know it's not easy to make this happen, but it seems to me that it ought to be the #1 priority of anyone planning for our nation's energy needs.

Fossil fuels, geothermal, wind power, hydroelectric, and everything else depend in some way on solar energy to start with: fossilized creatures got energy from the food chain, which gets it from the sun, and the earth would be frozen and motionless if it weren't for the sun's heat. Why don't we get our juice straight from the source?
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: Soap box (literally)

Journal by Nerdposeur

Caress brand soap has a little slogan on their box: "Nature's Silk."

I find this amusing because, as far as I know, soap is made by humans in strong-smelling factories. You know what nature's silk is? SILK. Made by the 100 percent natural silk worm.

Dove is also silly, with their fixation on how "pure" their soap is. What does that even mean? It's not like soap is a chemical element. If I buy, for example, pure water, I know that I should be getting two Hs per O, and very little else.

I mean, I'm glad they're not putting bacon bits or bee parts in there, but really, I don't know what soap is made of to start with.

Businesses

Journal: Carnivore mascots

Journal by Nerdposeur

I'm not a vegetarian, but I think it's a little weird to have the animal you're eating represented as a cartoon character that wants you to eat it.

There is a BBQ joint near here called "Oinkers," where happy pigs are all over the menu, licking their chops for a cannabalistic feast.

That's freaky.

Toys

Journal: Cell Phones - How about some real features?

Journal by Nerdposeur

Huge personal gripe: cell phones try to do too many things. My cell phone wants to play games, take pictures, surf the internet, etc etc.

What about call management? I had one phone that let me group all my contacts into Friends, Business, etc. Then I could put it on, for example, Vacation mode, and it would send work calls directly to voicemail. Beautiful! Why don't all phones have this?

And as long as we're grouping contacts, why can't I used tabbed browsing to scroll through the lists? With a little joypad, I'd click left and right to see the list of Friends, Business, Musicians, Church, etc. One tab, of course, would be All.

Or how about the ability to send a "calling card?" If I call someone and they want to save my number, they have to key in my name. I should be able to hit a button and send them all my contact info and name while we're talking.

And what about if I don't want to be disturbed, except in case of emergency? My phone should have an "emergency call only" setting, so that if I'm asleep, someone will get a message saying, "Hey, I'm probably asleep. If it's an emergency, press one and my phone will ring; otherwise, leave a message." Then I don't get woken up, other people don't feel rude, and important messages get through. Bingo!

In general, more people are using cell phones as their only phones and their only phone books. Managing our contacts and controlling who can call us when are logical, important needs - much more so than the ability to download pop songs as ringtones.

Then, of course, if we're going to add "non-communication" features, the first logical thing is a dictaphone, to leave myself voice memos. The device already has a speaker and internal memory; a dictaphone is obvious. Still, not all phones have this.

And if I AM going to have a camera and whatnot, I should be able to USE the phone as I see fit - I.E., download those pictures to my PC. My current phone will snap pictures, but to get them off the phone I have to e-mail them to myself at 25 cents a pop. Sucks for the customer, great for the company.

I do have my own silly wants, of course. One "fantasy feature" - online management of my voicemail. Generally not important, but personally, I'd like to be able to UPLOAD my voicemail greeting as a .wav file rather than record it over the phone. I've got a bunch of professional audio recording and editing stuff, and could make a darn cool message with sound effects and music if I wanted. But the only way to use it would be to play it back through my speakers and hold the phone up to them, which sounds terrible.

They're already storing my voice as a digital file on their network. Why not let me edit the file directly? It's MY voicemail.

(whew) I guess that's about all for now.

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