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Archive for May, 2005

The Apple Store. Wow.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

I headed over to the flagship Apple store today on Market St., eager to catch a presentation of the Bay Area Photobloggers. After 5 minutes of confusion upon my arrival, I realized what you probably noticed if you followed any of these links–I was two weeks early.

The strange part was that I couldn’t leave the store. It is brilliantly designed to tempt you to touch and play with all of their products (and people were–in some cases, lining up to try them!) There is no ugly inventory in view nor security gates and cash registers blocking the exits–just products (computers, laptops, iPods, iPod speakers, printers, etc) and Apple “geniuses” (in addition to those roaming the floor downstairs, upstairs is a “genius bar”, where people line up to talk to a dozen or more friendly Apple experts, and a small open theater–complete with theater-style seats–where they were giving a free class).

And the products weren’t just there in their stupid “fresh out of the box” (useless) state. They were neatly organized around activities (movies, music, work, etc.) and filled with content: the iPods had songs and pictures, the laptop address books had names, iMovie had video clips in it. I was editing movies, flipping through pictures, comparing the sound from iPod speaker docks. A friendly Apple Genius even set up a video chat for me with a laptop across the room so I could see if looked as good as it did when Jobs demo’ed it (it did, though it was just the local network).

It’s really a minor miracle that I didn’t walk out of there with anything. Truth be told, the only reason I didn’t was because I had read earlier today a rumor that we would soon see 2GB iPod shuffles, so I decided to wait. I’m not sure that I’ll last, though, if I stumble into that store again.

I hope other retailers are learning from Apple (I hear that Sony has a similar style store, too, so I’ll have to check that out). The Apple stores have been a huge success where others (e.g. the Gateway stores) have failed. As with everything else they do, Apple really thought about the entire experience for “users” of the store and brilliantly designed every aspect of it. It’s a toy store for yuppies (and I learned at an Apple presentation in Cupertino in January that the numbers verify that the stores have offered phenomenal ROI). I wonder how much better a Best Buy or Circuit City would perform if they were a bit smarter about their retail experience.

Kudos to Apple for this great business move.


Who are 8 white guys who have more rhythm than I do?

Thursday, May 26th, 2005

GLC. aka Goldie Lookin’ Chain. Check out their website here.

These guys are NOT a boy band. 8 white dudes, a little dorky for image, but they put on a great show tonight at the Independent in San Francisco. High energy in addidas jumpsuits, headbands, and the trademark gold chains, GLC got folks jumping around with their hip hop style original mixes (all on mics with pre-recorded soundtracks, they call it “kareoke”). Most of GLC reminded me of Sean Purcell, without the worm (though there were a number of times I thought they were going to bust it out).

The accents on these blokes made them difficult to understand (with the exception with some “clear as fuck” jabs at more renown pop stars) but my head was bobbing nonetheless. If you’re in Chicago or NYC (their two remaining “state side” shows), do yourself a favor and check these guys out.

(posted from my cell phone)

Dancing what?

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

Last week, a friend from Seattle (Oliver, who always seems to find the gems on the web) located this dancing trombone player (and somehow worked it into the same blog posting as a pointer to the 1986 Chicago Bears Superbowl Shuffle).
Once again, I was impressed with his find.

I think I might have one-upped him: check out this Body Builder doing The Robot.

Enjoy. I wonder if the good folks at DARPA had this in mind when they were inventing the internet…


Group Blogs = "Personal" Newsgroups?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

As the school year winds down and my sectionmates disperse for the summer, we’re experimenting with a Section Blog. The idea is that it’s a way for everyone to keep in touch with each other over the summer and after we graduate.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of this blog: it sort of flips the blog model on its head (in the blogs I read, one person has the conch and everyone else can only comment). This new model is more of a “blog as a newsgroup.” We can still comment, but we might also just talk past each other.

We’ll see.


Microsoft Reverses Descision thanks to my blog

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

OK, I can’t prove that it was because I blogged about it, but you can’t prove that it didn’t have to do with my blog…

Microsoft has officially reversed its decision and now publicly supports the WA state Gay Rights Bill.

Now I can wear all those morale t-shirts again. A small step forward for Microsoft, a giant leap backwards for my sense of fashion.