Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, December 08, 2021

T-minus-one day. And so, today was time for the customary goodbye lunch.

I enjoyed it. A good portion of the office crew set out down the street for Bella Brava. I was quite pleased with the choice of locale; Brava is in the spot of the former Ovo Cafe. I never had gotten around to trying the “new” place, even though it’s been running for months now. I’m glad to say that they preserved most of the interior decor from the Ovo days, including the classy-looking ebony-wood bar. And the food was fab.

As the guest of honor, I got gifted with a mock care package for my relocation to New York. It was an oversized cardboard box, festooned with NYC-stylin’ icons, including images of Metrocards, the Statue of Liberty and, of course, the season schedule for the New York Rangers (and, to hedge the bet, the Islanders as well — as if). Curiously, there was also a snapshot of a sidewalk chalk outline scene; hmm….

Inside the box were some fun-fun Noo Yawkin’ trinkets (which I would extensively add hyperlinks to, but it’s getting late):

- An Einstein Brothers bagel

- A winterish set of cap and gloves (which I rather like, especially the cap, which is reminiscent of the classic toque; I’ve been wearing it ever since I got home)

- A AAA Tour Book with road map for New York City/State (tres touristy; makes me want to immediately go up North and declare, “That’s not how we do things back in Florida!”)

- The latest issue of the New Yorker

- A $15 Starbucks giftcard (a nod to the ubiquity of the java giant in Manhattan — and everywhere else)

- A CD of what appears to be techno/house music (can’t wait to listen to it)

- A postcard with Mickey Mouse on it, for me to remember this peninsula

- And finally, today’s print copy of the Grey Lady, along with an NYC-branded pencil, presumably for doing the crossword

I was very happy to see my old coworker Jamie, who was able to join us for this little celebration.

The outing made me just a little sad. I guess it’ll be even more so tomorrow, my last day (despite the fun-packed plans; details tomorrow). But it was a good time, and toward a worthwhile next act.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/08/2021 11:37:35 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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Huzzah for Tommy at Sticks of Fire for getting some well-deserved St. Pete Times recognition over his publicizing of Amon’s Tampa Towers project, ahead of schedule.

It’s amazing how often people and companies will throw the switch on for Web content that’s not ready for primetime, then get blindsided when Google and other search engines index them. Of course that’s going to happen, the minute they become part of the Internet — it’s harder to block out searchbots than it is to attract them. Any Web development service worth the name should know that.

It’s not a difficult concept to grasp: If you don’t want the wrapping to come off the gift, don’t leave it lying out in the open. Just because it’s a Web page doesn’t mean it has to go live right away.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/08/2021 10:48:30 PM
Category: Bloggin', Florida Livin', Media
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A mainstay for years among the on-the-go executive set, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry product set and service is in danger of being shut down by a patent lawsuit with NTP. Understandably, that’s got plenty of users and consultants scrambling for backup plans.

Here’s a plan: Ditch a fool device that screams, “I’m a tech-ignoramus who doesn’t realize I can do the same things on a mid-to-high-range cellphone, at probably half the price”.

I don’t begrudge RIM’s success. They’ve managed to maintain a robust business by catering to a very desirable customer base, even building up something of a coolness cache among that base.

But it’s a business built upon sustained cluelessness. Talk to the average crackberry addict, and they’re shocked to learn that anyone can send and receive email and files via other wireless services. It’s the same entropic mindset that insists on hanging onto AOL, or WordPerfect, or any other outdated technology.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the drop-off in sales that result from this current uncertainty kills off the BlackBerry. The sooner the better.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/08/2021 10:29:43 PM
Category: Business, Tech
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I hate to keep dumping on Catholicism over its questionable theological tenets, but when as juicy a morsel as the Pope blessing the Olympic flame on its way to Turin/Torino comes up…

I mean, I’m well aware of Chrisitanity’s wholesale co-opting of pagan philosophy and ritual. Still, the juxtaposition of the Bishop of Rome with a prominent symbol of pagan celebration and exaltation, as the Games were in pre-Christian times strikes me as particularly ironic.

I’m not discounting the good intentions and enlightened attitude toward the nobler principles behind the modern-day Olympics (if you ignore the overriding commercialism). But it’s akin to a Republican saluting an old USSR hammer-and-sickle banner.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/08/2021 09:52:58 PM
Category: History, Society
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Don’t you feel all kinds of sorry for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who didn’t score one of his company’s hot-hot-hot Xbox 360 consoles as an executive perk?

“The Ballmer children do not have their Xbox 360 yet. I’m in the same boat as many of you,” Ballmer said. “Thanks to the wonders of Sarbanes-Oxley, management does not get a free Xbox 360,” he quipped at a meeting of technology industry executives.

Under financial disclosure rules, Microsoft would have to classify a free game console as income for Ballmer.

Riiiiiight. Like a $400 expenditure for a chief executive who’s being compensated seven figures annually represents an onerous bonus. And how much you want to bet that you will, indeed, find a beige gamebox (or two, or three) in Ballmer’s crib?

I think I should start a subcategory here for cataloguing instances of CEOs grousing about the “hardships” that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is making them endure. It would be a ready source of amusement for the days that I need some.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/08/2021 09:18:15 PM
Category: Business, Videogames
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This morning, while passing by the security guard kiosk at work on the way to the elevators, I noticed something sitting on the unofficial lost-and-found countertop.

It was not one, not two, but three pairs of eyeglasses. Even in an office building with around a thousand people in it during the daytime, it’s rather unusual to see a hat-trick of items like that lined up. And not only did they all look practically brand-new, but they had very similar frames.

Is there an epidemic of people losing their specs around here? Maybe I’d better take extra-special care with mine, lest they go flying off my face.

UPDATE: Weirder and weirder: I just passed by the area again, on the way out to lunch… and there were five or six pairs of glasses there. Plus a carrying case for one of them!

I’m starting to wonder if there’s a scavenger hunt going on…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/08/2021 08:44:59 AM
Category: General
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