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Wednesday, July 04, 2021

In this age of pay-per-post payola in the blogosphere, I’m wary of any requests for custom-created blog content.

And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s in it for Answers.com with their Creative Writing Challenge. By inviting loads of bloggers to post a chunk of compositional creativity, using ten assigned words/phrases that hyperlink back to specific Answers.com entry pages, a good amount of Googlejuice is generated. That leads to more traffic for those Answers.com pages, which leads to higher keyword-advertising rates for that site overall. Yeah, I get it.

Still, there are prizes and potential linkback traffic at stake. And since I have the day off and nothing much else to do, I figured, why not? All contests have an ulterior marketing motive. Besides, I just spelled out motives for both me and Answers.com, which severely dispels concerns of stealthiness.

And so, here’s my entry. Any signs of literary adroitness are mostly coincidental:

Upon my return from Belize, I encountered a brown recluse spider.

Imagine my surprise, as this species of arachnid is normally not found in New York – rather, they are near-ubiquitous in the southeastern U.S. I concluded that, for all intents and purposes, this particular spider was on a quixotic quest to expand its natural range.

Deciding that such speculation on the spider’s origins was, at best, perfunctory on my part, I resolved to abrogate the problem. With nothing else within easy reach, I picked up my trusty yo-yo, and, in the style of 16th-century Filipino hunters, I flung the spool hard.

Bullseye! With one shot, I nailed it, squashing the eight-legged potential menace.

At the time of the deed, my conscience was clear. But, perhaps in a quid pro quo of karmic payback by buggy animals everywhere, I soon thereafter developed an irrational case of melissophobia.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/04/2021 08:05:44 PM
Category: Bloggin', Creative
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With all the hacking tips posted online, I’m mighty tempted to pick up an iPhone and use it solely as a mobile wi-fi Web access device.

Because I feel I could use such a gadget. I’m on the go so often, and there are so many purposely-open wireless hotspots around town, that I can easily take advantage of having the Web constantly at my fingertips. I already pay for Internet access as part of my current Verizon Wireless phone plan, but it’s only crappy WAP — barely tolerable for checking email and the occasional online map directions. I could lug my notebook computer around, but that’s overkill and a hassle — something that fits in my pocket would be ideal.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure it’s worth going through the dummy activation-then-cancellation process, especially since it’s likely to be shut down in a future software update. I don’t want to wind up with an elegant $600 brick.

Although I guess I could convince myself, via this justification: Buy the iPhone now, enable it without the telephone service, use the wi-fi (and iPod and camera capabilities) to my heart’s content — for about six months. At that point, in early 2008, my current VZW contract expires. Given that I’m already ready to chuck my present phone, I’ll be ready to replace it with the iPhone. So basically, I’d pre-pay for a new phone now, albeit at a heavy premium.

The only thing is that I’d have to dump VZW for AT&T, since there are no plans to make the iPhone available to other carriers. That’s likely my dealbreaker. So much for that scenario.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/04/2021 04:42:46 PM
Category: Tech, Wi-Fi, iPod
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