[News Panoply 1st ed.] Melting-head cakes, Sbarro, The Hobbit, Chicken Sandwiches, Chrome, Sarah Palin, Walgreens, Toasted Ants

I apologize to my kpop readers, but news has been slow lately, though Seungri’s comeback teaser has certainly raised my eyebrows! However, my Google Reader feed (now reverted back to private), has been busy. A panoply of items that I have shared this week  (from Monday the 10th), ranging from fashion to business news. Who doesn’t want to be a well-informed kindergartener?

(Note: My actual on-the-moment comments are in italics afterwards.)

Monday, 10 January 2011

ADS OF THE WORLD– Feltrinelli Publisher: Reading Means Resisting
THE CONSUMERIST– Thief Tries To Buy $3K Worth Of Chicken Sandwiches With Stolen Credit Card
THE OFFICIAL GOOGLE BLOG– Google Goggles gets faster, smarter and solves Sudoku
WALL STREET JOURNAL– MIT 150 Celebrates What Nerds Wrought
chinaSMACK– College Student Became Nude Model To Pay Tuition
DESIGN SWAN– 16 Innovative and Unusual Bench Designs
WASHINGTON POST– Milk-based formula may lead to bigger babies than a protein-hydrolosate formula
WALL STREET JOURNAL– Sbarro Hires Bankruptcy Lawyers
THEONERING.NET– Sir Ian McKellen to reprise his role as Gandalf in “The Hobbit” Yesh!!!!!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

REUTERS– AT&T shares fall on prospect of Verizon iPhone
REUTERS– Assange could face death penalty in U.S.: lawyers
GEEK.COM– Google Ice Cream out this summer?
SLASHDOT– Microsoft CEO Says Kinect To Support PCs Eventually
ARS TECHNICA– Pics of the new antenna, WiFi sharing prefs on Verizon iPhone
TECHCRUNCH– How Google Speeds Up The Chrome Release Cycle (Slideshow)
GEEK.COM– How the Lord of the Rings Trilogy would go if Gimli was right
REUTERS– Italian comedy passes “Avatar” five-day gross record

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

BBC– Birds ‘died from binge drinking’
THE CONSUMERIST– Congratulations, Florida, You’re The Only US State Without Snow
THE CONSUMERIST– ATMs Are As Dirty As Toilets
BOING BOING– HOWTO make an ultra-gross melting-head cake
BOING BOING– Sarah Palin and Blood Libel: Doin’ it Wrong
REUTERS– U.S. abortion rate levels off after 30-year decline
LIVE SCIENCE– Blinking Bacteria
NEW YORK TIMES– Bits: The iPhone Effect Strikes Early for Verizon
SLATE MAGAZINE– Why boys like sticks: the Explainer’s 2010 Question of the Year.
LIVE SCIENCE– Kama Sutra Trojan Virus Anything But Sexy– LOL
WALL STREET JOURNAL– Why Fashion Can’t Break Its Plaid Habit
GIZMODO– PBS’s New iPhone App Lets You Watch Full Episodes [Apps]

Thursday, 11 January 2011

THE CONSUMERIST– Walgreens To Get Into The Grocery Game
PEOPLE’S PRESS– Obama’s Job Ratings, Personal Image Unchanged by Recent Washington Eventspoo
THE CONSUMERIST– HSBC Just Assumes You Want The $90 Check-Printing Service– ?_? this wouldn’t happen if you had HSBC Premier with $100,000 in combined deposits/investments. obviously
THINKGEEK– Caffeine & Edibles : Giant Toasted Leafcutter Ants
LIVE SCIENCE– 34,000-Year-Old Organisms Found Buried Alive!
TECHCRUNCH– Harvard Undergrads Launch Newsle To Find News About Your Friends (Beta Invites)– LOL so pretentious
REUTERS– Italy’s top court rules Berlusconi can face trial

[Cafe Review] Crema Cafe, Cambridge

I can’t stay a Starbucks devotee forever.  I’m a liberal arts student. I should be going to random and artsy cafes like Cafe Crema. Last weekend, I compiled a list of cafes to visit in the Boston, Cambridge area, and as I slowly become more broke, I’ll share my experiences with you.

I ordered an Elderflower Nectar Tea and a Red Crema Cupcake, a curious gooey cinnamon frosting on top of a bran muffin-cupcake. The tea was forgettable, too tart for its name ‘nectar.’ Red Crema Cupcake was delicious, but again, nothing extraordinary. I spent around $5 for this combination, so this was not expensive relatively to Starbucks, where a tall strawberry soy frappaccino costs $4.16 in Boston.  The staff was friendly, and strangely, all young women. There are two floors, which is nice, but it’s still crowded, so you may have to wait a little while before getting a prime seat and laying yourself out to do some homework. The lights are dim, and the chairs are commonplace wood; in many ways, Crema Cafe is one those stereotypical cafes, with hanging lamps and creaking wood everywhere.  However, the deal breaker: it was extremely noisy, and at around 5PM, the cafe started blasting random techno. Not conducive to studying for Microeconomics.

view of the cafe from the top floorCrema Cafe is great for meeting a friend over coffee or tea, but anything above a hum of chatter is not a great place to study. Another drawback: no wi-fi.  Of course, since Harvard is right around the corner, I was using Harvard guest wi-fi, but since I was far away and Harvard is extremely stingy about opening up to the public (read: none of its libraries except for those in dormitories are open to the public), this was not an ideal connection. Call me Starbucks-sensitized, but I have come to expect free wi-fi at cafes I stop at for studying.

Verdict: Go to Crema Cafe for meet-ups, but unless you study well in a busy, noisy environment, go sneak into a Harvard library, or walk proudly into an MIT library (MIT > Harvard).

[tech] Official Google Voice app approved (finally.)

Ever since Apple published its app store guidelines on September 9, a frenzy has been speculating that it is only a matter of time before the official Google Voice app from Google would be approved.  It has been approved.

However, most articles I’ve read concerning this are saying this Google Voice app is for iPhone.  Everyone has forgotten about the iPod Touch, the thing that does everything but telephone, and the one gadget which would potentially benefit the most from this app.  Apparently, Pinger, the company behind Textfree, has developed an app that will give users a SIP-based VOIP client, which will allow them to make calls over 3G and Wifi– calling would FINALLY be accessible to iPod Touch users! However, one caveat: the number of calls will be limited.  After a certain time, you will have to fork over your credit card.  Goody.  Also, just like Textfree, it will be loaded with ads.

Right now, I have GV Mobile + for my Google Voice number, and it’s proved to be spectacularly unsatisfying, partially because it does not have push notifications, so now I still check my Google Voice through e-mail anyway.  Moreover, I may be technologically handicapped, but GV Mobile + does not recognize any of my contacts on Google Voice, and instead draws from my iPod Touch’s contact list, where there is literally only one person: Ian O.

It’s become a personal goal to have free calling sans ads, via Wifi on my iPod Touch, in a few, easy simple steps.  Not by routing and rerouting GV and Sipgate numbers and whatever.  Something an average person would be able to do.  Because I am clearly very average.

[free stuff] Free WiFi in NYC Parks. now before you run off giggling madly, read the fine print.

COTTON CANDY MMMMM

It’s only up to 30 minutes.  Well, reading into the fine print further, three, 10-minute sessions.  After that, it’s $0.99 per day for using the WiFi, not a huge groan, but since there’s a Starbucks on every corner with free WiFi, why bother? Sorry, but I’m a poor college (kindergartener) student, and I can use this dollar to buy some candy.  I’d rather have some candy than Facebook.  Sorry.