Three New Dews…Okay Now…

Three years ago (2007), we got Dewmocracy, and while the Voltage Dew won I don’t think it was the best choice (Revolution should have won, if you ask me). Now (in 2010), they’re giving us another choice of Three! New! Dews! for us to choose. More choice than I’ve seen for president since 1980, if you ask me.

Of course, there is a twist this time around.

This year we’re not getting three different versions of Sweet with flavor variations. These flavors have actual overtones which mark them as different from the rest:

  • Dew White Out has a Grapefruit taste in it that reminds me of Squirt (or Citra, Coke’s single attempt to take over the Grapefruit Soda market).
  • Dew Distortion has a strong Lime backtaste.
  • Dew Typhoon…well, Fruit Punch is the stuff that parents serve their children when they want something too sweet for kids to care about. That this one has a character of its own shows that sometimes you can’t put enough sugar on something to hide its true taste.

Not only that, but their coloration (at least of the Typhoon and Distortion) seem to hint at the pops being variations of the original (Distortion being a variation of the flagship, while the Typhoon is a variation 0f the Code Red). One could even signify the White Out as a variation of the original (pre-Teem, Lemon-Lime flavored) Dew.

Anyway, I actually tried out all three of these Dews last Saturday (the 17th of April). The Dew Typhoon went quickly onto the ground (I spilled it first, don’t believe in letting water sit in a plastic bottle and go to a dump); the Distortion and White Out were drunk fully.

I think the winner will be the White Out. The flavor is enough to make it distinctive, but doesn’t have a turn-off factor. I wouldn’t be surprised to find the Distortion used for certain markets or at special times (Cinco de Mayo, anyone?) And while the Fruit Punch will have its fans (heck, even the sickly-sweet Supernova Dew got some votes and actually did respectable in some states), I doubt that it will win.

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Goldman-Sacs and Ivan Boesky

I remember back in 1986, when the SEC started looking at Ivan Boesky and his group for insider trading.The morning after the news cracked, J. P. McCarthy of WJR (760 AM, from Detroit) talked with Ivan Boesky, and Boesky was his blase self with McCarthy. He even went so far as to state that many people trying to give him tips were themselves trying to act as inside traders.

Turned out that Boesky was part of a group of people who used the information they knew and made trades on that information. Making millions of dollars and bringing about one of the biggest slides in Stock Market history.

Fast-Forward 23 years, and we’ve gone through a mega-bubble involving sub-prime loans, derivatives, new investment technologies and a housing market in which prices (and house sizes) exploded despite dropping wages. It was the popping of that bubble that brought about the massive trauma that happened to the market (and it’s the stutter-step actions that have kept hyperinflation at bay for now).

And now, it appears that the more we know about what happened in the investment banks and loans and Wall Street, it appears the more criminal everything looks. Bad loans were floated because people would float them, bad investments were sold because people would buy them, and the people putting the bad investments together were happily betting that they would go bad (and making them so they’d go bad, to boot!).

Ivan Boesky merely took pre-knowledge and made money on it. At least the stuff he was using was truthful and genuine; this new stuff makes him look like a Choirboy who didn’t run into any pedophile priests (or at least any who felt free to indulge) while growing up in the Catholic faith.

Another thing I remember is that Boesky and his gang ended up going to one of the Club Fed prisons (Federal Prisons for the nonviolent. Spacious grounds, with but the hint of a fence to remind you that your world was circumscribed by it.). Based on that, it wouldn’t surprise me if nothing happened to the banks and such. People won’t be able to comprehend what happened and how the actions of the bankers, investment places and other parties brought what happened to the nation.

Again: Not because they’re innocent. Because their crime is so big that no one could get their head around it.

Like Nazi Germany and their 12-year holocaust of Jews and others. The Germans should have been de-industrialized and left to starve, but what happened was so big that it couldn’t be conceived (even with the photos and films and such), so they accepted the sacrifice of a few leaders and let them recover.

(and for you deniers: It wasn’t just Auschwitz. A greater portion of the killing happened as the Germans invaded Poland; and then the Ukraine and Belarus. Out in the field, in mass graves. The concentration camps were used towards the end, and had less an impact than is assumed by the average Joe.)

Heard on MarketPlace:

Kai Ryssdal’s final note…

Ripped from the headlines right here in Los Angeles.

You might have heard about California’s budget troubles and how some state offices have been closing one day a month to save money.

They’ve got nothing on L.A.

This afternoon Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that all city departments — except police, public safety and those that make money — they’re going to have to shut down two days a week.

The city controller said yesterday L.A.’s going to run out of money by the end of the month.

I remember watching Vivian Albertine when she was playing in Chicago. She started into life in London during the early seventies that included stuff about the city getting its electricity shut off at 7pm and three days/week workweeks for government employees. She then went into life as a punk, and how things were going well in the scene when The Heartbreakers came to town…

“and brought heroin (a pregnant, wistful pause here) and Nancy Spungeon”

She then launched into a song about drugs and the Sex Pistols (what I think the babies line refers to, I’m thinking. Not that I’m in any way sure about it…).

Thing is, while the reference to Sid Vicious is probably the deepest cutting part of her comment, the stuff about London (or LondON, as the city’s advertised to the world as nowadays) struck me equally as deep. After all, this one-time capital of the world seemed about to enter the nether realms of the third world – and we’re talking Dysfunctional African City, not Calcutta or a South American City. And this during the time of Labor Power.

Almost makes you glad for Margaret Thatcher. At least it silences any criticism I may have for the Iron Lady.

And now Los Angeles is about to enter this nether realm of 3rd World status.

Maybe it’s not L.A., nor the state of California.

Maybe it’s the whole of the US joining Mexico as a 3rd world country, with its tent cities (slums) and extreme unemployment. With L.A. leading the way.

Just a thought….

The iPad: First Impressions

Note: This has been through a couple revisions as I’ve thought of more to say. Sorry for being incomplete, but I’m not always the quickest bug in the room.

Had to see the iPad myself, so I went to a nearby Best Buy towards the end of the day to try it out.

First off, it definitely reminds me of an iPhone on steroids. Bigger, a bit more powerful, is lacking the ability to make calls (Yes, there are trade-offs from steroid use. For a good example read “My Dirty Secrets” by Tony Mandarich. That he ended up being addicted to painkillers and alcohol (and stuck with a screamer for a coach at Green Bay for good measure) may be sweet justice to many, but more to the point it was the trade-off that he ended up making for the bigger bulk he got during college). It also definitely has a heft the iPhone doesn’t.

A lot of the mechanics are the same as with the iPhone (and iPod Touch), only bigger. Scrolling is the same, and the keypad is the same, only bigger. I don’t like that you have to hit a special key to shift between letters and numbers (although it does make typing certain other characters easier), unfortunately their add-on keyboard is based on their stupid chicklet-square keyboards that Apple thinks is the future of computing (but is instead the future of third-party keyboard makers as they make the old-fashioned keyboards that fit better with the fingers). I very much hope there’s other keyboard makers who make keyboards for the iPad very soon; Apple’s present keyboards suck badly and are probably one of the biggest drawbacks to their product line.

As for the programs, I see why they sized the iPad at its present size: the screen’s dimensions (HxW) are twice the dimensions (again, HxW) of the iPhone and iPod Touch. This makes for a simple resizing of the programs made for the smaller screen by doubling. Thus the program market for the iPad is jump-started while the programming community is working to make (and remake) programs that work both on the newer screen and able to change to other sizes of screens (good if we’re going to see what I’ll want – more lower down on the review)

I can see how this could easily work as the lower end of the MacBook lineup. Add in a smaller-screened iMac (bring out a 19-inch iMac or do a 20-inch/23-inch/27 inch lineup) and sell them together as a home/away paring. I also would like to see a 13-inch version of the iPad, as that would allow for a full keyboard on-screen. This would also make a kick-ass combination GPS/Internet-Radio device for driving around in the car (if you could figure out a convenient way to keep it from being stolen).

As for buy/wait/forget, I’d say “wait.” This is a 1st generation Apple product, and you’d have to be a rich Apple Fanboy to feel safe buying this item (I’m an Apple Fanboy, but hardy rich enough to want every toy of theirs when it’s newly minted).