Archives by Date: June 2005
June 30, 2005
Google's 300-Year Mission
An interesting quote from an article on Google's Search Service in today's Wall Street Journal:
Google's chief executive, Mr. Schmidt, calls Google's mission a long-term one. "It will take, current estimate, 300 years to organize all of the world's information," he says.
Where in the world did that estimate come from?
June 24, 2005
Tom Cruise Is Insane
Tom Cruise has apparently gone insane. This morning, he argued with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today over the merits of psychology:
Cruise: Matt. Matt, Matt, you don't even — you're glib. You don't even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, okay? That's what I've done. Then you go and you say where's the medical test? Where's the blood test that says how much Ritalin you're supposed to get?
Lauer: It's very impressive to listen to you. Because clearly, you've done the homework. And you know the subject.
Cruise: And you should. And you should do that also. Because just knowing people who are on Ritalin isn't enough. You should be a little bit more responsible in knowing really —
How long until this makes him unattractive to studios and his fans?
· 'I'm passionate about life' (includes video) [MSNBC]
· Cruise, Lauer argue on 'Today' [CNN]
· Today on Today: Tom Cruise Takes On Matt Lauer's Thetans [Gawker]
· Cruise Vs. Lauer: Cruise Wins... Our Mindless Devotion [Defamer]
· Tom Cruise Archives [Defamer]
June 23, 2005
Pentagon Categorizing Students in Government Database
According to this morning's Washington Post, the Pentagon has begun working with a "private marketing firm" to create a database of all high school and college students in the United States. This new database has personal information including birth dates, GPAs, social security numbers, and the subjects a student is taking:
Privacy advocates said the plan appeared to be an effort to circumvent laws that restrict the government's right to collect or hold citizen information by turning to private firms to do the work.
I registered for the selective service (as required by law) a few years ago, and males are required to register in order to receive financial aid. But is this database really necessary?
· Pentagon Creating Student Database [Washington Post]
A Sticky Situation for Snapple
Talk about a publicity stunt gone wrong: in a sad effort to break the Guinness Book of World Records for biggest popsicle, a 20 ton and 2-and-a-half story kiwi-strawberry Snapplesicile melted all over Union Square, and "sent unsuspecting pedestrians and cyclists slipping and sliding," at least according to the New York Post. I wish I could find better pictures.
Amazingly, the press release seems to have been delinked from Snapple's Press page.
· Huge Popsicle Melts on a Hot Summer Day [Gothamist]
· Snapple Slips Up in Ice-Pop Flop [New York Post]
· A Shocking Thing Happened to the Big Popsicle. It Melted. [New York Times]
June 22, 2005
Starbucks at New York Sports Clubs?
I was leaving the New York Sports Club I joined a few days ago yesterday and noticed they were having some kind of promotion. Set up in the lobby was a table full of free Starbucks coffee and food.
While I'm always a fan of free food, I had trouble understanding why they were packing the lobby of a health club with fat and calorie filled "food" from Starbucks. I noticed coffee cake (570 calories, 28g of fat per serving) and what seems to be "White Chocolate Macadamia Nut" cookies (470 calories, 27g of fat per serving).
I think Starbucks was sponsoring the day, but shouldn't whoever arranged this cross-promotion actually thought this through? On another note, they promised me there would be healthier food that evening.
June 15, 2005
Viacom's Summer Redstone on Himself
With Viacom's recently announced plans to split into two publicly-traded companies, "Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer" and controlling stockholder Summer Redstone (whom, by the way, pulled in about $64 million last year) sat down for a candid interview with the Los Angeles Times:
Q: How will Viacom change without you as CEO? A: My role really won't change at all. I still control both companies. Les and Tom do not make a move without calling me and discussing it. They work for me. The management style of Viacom, in terms of its culture, attitude and personality, reflects my own views...
He's so modest. "Les and Tom" are, of course, Tom Freston and Leslie Moonves. Both were named "Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer" about a year ago and, for the record, both received similar compensation packages to their boss' last year. I wonder if they have to ask Summer to use the bathroom.
While I don't doubt Mr. Redstone's importance at Viacom, I'm not sure I've ever read a more arrogant response to a question by a major company's Chairman (he isn't, after all, CEO).
· Viacom OKs Plan to Split, but 1 Man Will Still Run the Show [Los Angeles Times]
· Google News on Viacom Breakup [Google News]
· Viacom puts stock in exex [Variety, subscription may be required]
· Senior Management [Viacom.com]
· Summer Redstone On Corporate Division, Immortality [Defamer]
June 09, 2005
Newsweek: What If Deep Throat Happened Today?
Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter had a great column in this week's issue asking what would happen to Watergate today? He writes a hypothetical column under the premise that Nixon just completed his successful second term. While sad to read, I'm not sure it is that far from the truth. And to think, I'm a registered Republican... more on that later.
"Some argue the Watergate story died right there, but Nixon's attorney general wasn't taking any chances. Just as in the Valerie Plame case, the Justice Department subpoenaed Woodward and Bernstein to testify before the grand jury about their sources. When they declined, they were jailed for 18 months on contempt charges. Talkingpointsmemo.com and a few other liberal bloggers complained that it was hypocritical—top White House aides were suspected of shredding documents, suborning perjury and paying hush money to burglars—but to no avail. Public support for the media had hit rock bottom."
· If Watergate Happened Now [Newsweek]
June 01, 2005
Overheard on the Subway
A group of kids that couldn't have been older than 15 were hovering over their peer playing Tetris on a calculator. All of the sudden, the game player screams out "NO!" at the top of his lungs, frustrating much of my fellow riders.
His friend informs him, "You can't scream on the subway unless everybody already is."
Words to live by!