Urban Eola

Think Flux

Flux Design is a very creative custom design firm located in a loft in Milwaukee's 3rd Ward that creates furniture, art pieces, and interior design. They've created some artistic stuff for some stylish boutiques and bars. If I ever run a swanky spot, I'd definitely fly them in to design it.

Read a very interesting article about their rise in the Business Journal of Milwaukee (Melding love of art with commerce).


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:22 AM | | links to this post

Fitness explained

I'm always wondering what's going on in my body as my heart is pounding, my legs aching, and my body sweating during fitness. This site has some answers - Healthy Lifestyles


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:01 AM | | links to this post

World Cup blog

Interesting site and great read for all 2006 World Cup fans - worldcupblog.org


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:58 AM | | links to this post

Screw you too, Verizon!

Urban Eola is not normally an angry, bitter, or pessimistic place. Actually it tends to be an upbeat blog that covers the positive, unique, and interesting aspects of life as seen through the eyes of an optimistic kid.

However, today Urban Eola is a pissed off website. I walked into the Perimeter Place Verizon Wireless store in Atlanta (this one located at 123 Perimeter Ctr W, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA. 30346. Phone # 770.399.9993) and asked for some cell phone assistance from some loser employee named Cameo. This guy treated me like I was a some kind of idiot who doesn't know what a cell phone is or how a frickin' contract works. Granted I'm not a straight-A student in law school, but I know that a contract involves some kind of bargain and consideration in exchange for a specific performance.

If I hadn't asked some detailed questions (which probabaly a majority of their customers don't) our good friend Cameo (work phone # 770.399.9993) was basically going to grab me by the balls and have me pick out a new cell phone, only to ask me to sign something which would say in very, very small, obscure print that as a result my contract was being extended for 2 years. No mention of that when I asked about getting a new phone. And for that he wanted $69.99. And that was the "good" deal. Sounds like a hell of a deal to me Verizon, you jackass of a company.

Has anyone ever walked into a cell phone store and been treated decent? Like a person with some sense? Why should they treat their loyal customers well? They already have me locked into a deal for 2 years. There's nothing I can do about it. I'm at Verizon's and some chump named Cameo's mercy. No leverage. No bargaining power. And going to another wireless carrier is more of the same.

I've been with Verizon for 6 years and I have been treated like a schmuck everytime I walked into that place. They really piss me off. Maybe dropping the cell phone plan altogether is the best option. Ted Turner doesn't have one. But admittedly in this day and age it would be a disadvantage (albeit a peaceful one) not to have a cell phone.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how bad cell phone companies blow? Here's some people that do - VerizonPathetic.com.

So screw you too, Verizon and your bozo employee, Cameo.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:58 PM | | links to this post

Thought provoking style

Spraygraphic has some cool clothes that make you think twice. For example, the one pictured here is titled "urban cowboy". They have some good stuff, check it out.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:23 AM | | links to this post

Widgets aplenty

I love desktop widgets. This site has thousands of them - Widget Gallery

Thanks to loyal reader FT for the tip.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:31 AM | | links to this post

Fantasy sports for real

Great story from my man, ESPN's Darren Rovell - Fans to manage minor league team for second half.

The Schaumburg Flyers, an independent baseball team located 30 miles from Chicago, have agreed to turn over to fans the managerial decisions such as the batting lineup, fielding positions and the pitching roster for the second half of the club's season.

The project, called "Fan Club: Reality Baseball" is the result of an alliance between production company LivePlanet, which will be responsible for the behind-the-scenes storytelling, and Microsoft's MSN, the Web site that will display everything from the team's day-to-day statistics to video highlights with the potential to stream games live.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:59 PM | | links to this post

Room planner

Home & Garden Television has this cool site where you can create a customized floorplan for any size room. Simply use your mouse to drag the furniture anywhere you want it in the room. HGTV room planner.

Haha. As I'm looking for an image of the HGTV room planner, I found an even better room planner. I didn't realize there was such a market for these things. Check out this one - Home and Living's room planner.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:42 PM | | links to this post

Movies on demand

If you haven't heard of Vongo, it's a pretty novel concept. Vongo is a video on demand service that allows the user to download and view movies for a fixed price per month. The service claims to offer high quality video playback of over 1000 titles. Members pay a flat fee of $9.99 per month, and have access to unlimited downloads during the 30 day period.

The catch is that the movies are only viewable within the confines of a certain time period; some movies are available for weeks, some for months. Once a movie expires, it is automatically deleted from the user's hard drive. The service claims an average download time of 30-40 minutes on a 90 minute movie for cable and DSL users.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:27 PM | | links to this post

Soccer girls

Babes of the World Cup.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:14 PM | | links to this post

200!

200 posts for Urban Eola. Staying strong.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 6:22 PM | | links to this post

Jose & Pedro + 10

My favorite commercial from the World Cup (Jose & Pedro +10 by adidas)


posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:01 PM | | links to this post

Listen to my tie

from Playboy:

"MP3 players are small enough to wear around your neck - which looks great if you're a Tokyo teen with orange hair. Personally we're fans of Thomas Pink's Commuter Tie ($95) the most understated piece of tech gear ever. Anything nano-size or smaller will work, and the cord runs up under you collar for the ultimate in stealth punk."


posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:25 AM | | links to this post

Little time = random pics

Random, yet amusing, snaps I collected recently on the internet.
> Donald and Melania - how'd he $core her?
> scene from the classic movie Sideways
> 54 hot dogs in 12 minutes - japanese world record holder Kobayashi
> Nate Robinson dunking over my man Spud Webb in the 2006 Slam Dunk Contest
> Beckham and Pele "back in the day"
> NYC blur - Times Square


posted by Michael Tavani @ 1:52 AM | | links to this post

PC World's 100 best products

Very telling list of where technology is now and where it's heading. PC World - 100 Best Products of the Year. A sampling:
  1. Intel Core Duo Notebook/Desktop CPU
  2. AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Desktop CPU
  3. Craigslist.org Web Classifieds
  4. Apple iPod Nano Digital Audio Player
  5. Seagate 160GB Portable Hard Drive Portable Hard Drive
  6. Google Earth Satellite Imagery
  7. Adobe Premiere Elements 2 Video Editor
  8. Canon EOS 30D Digital SLR Camera
  9. YouTube.com Video-Sharing Site
  10. Apple Boot Camp Mac Dual-Booter


posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:47 PM | | links to this post

Competition for YouTube

I love YouTube, but I also love when competition makes products better for the average consumer. Introducing Veoh (beta). Michael Eisner is on the board and they seem like they have a solid product. Mostly, their videos can be downloaded and viewed full screen in higher resolution than YouTube.

Urban Eola take :: It's a little cleaner than YouTube and the small, transparent logo in the lower right corner disappears once the video starts. It'll be interesting to see if it can grab a share of the market.
Here's a demo of Veoh's embedded player below.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:21 PM | | links to this post

Create your own demand

I've been reading alot recently about people creating a demand for themselves in the work place or as entrepreneurs simply be being creative with web 2.0 technology. Example: Robert Scoble was a "technical evangelist" at Microsoft before his demand rose so high that startup Podtech.net hired him away. He is seen as the world's first corporate blogger, a rank-and-file employee providing the outside world with an inside view of a company which has not been sugar-coated by the PR department. Some predict that Communications departments will be gone in 10 years.

Scoble's willingness to both praise and criticize Microsoft propelled his popularity. Blog search engine Technorati ranks Scoble's site as the world's 22nd most popular blog, even though his blog talked about everything from his son's elementary school graduation to criticisms and praises of Microsoft products. Financial Times covers the topic a little bit:

"Thanks in no small part to Mr Scoble'’s influence, an increasing number of companies have begun to embrace employee blogging as a business tool.

But while bloggers have proven their ability to change the way customers feel about the companies they work for and blog about, their personal brands remain portable – and highly desirable to competitors willing to offer the right incentives for an employee to make the switch."

Another creative idea people are creating are webcast TV shows. This is from Scoble's blog: "Yesterday I was talking with Amanda Congdon (pictured), one of the co-founders of Rocketboom. Her videoblog is now seeing about 300,000 viewers a day. That's, what, a year or so old? Did you know that advertisers are now paying her $85,000 per week? That's almost as much money as I made in an entire year of working at Microsoft."

As noted by Dan Mitchell in the New York Times (3/11/06), viewership numbers are similar to the size of a small cable show audience. In "A Blog Writes the Obituary of TV," Mitchell wrote:

One recent week, the video blog Rocketboom drew an average of 200,000 people a day to watch its short daily news reports on technology, the arts and other topics. The Abrams Report on MSNBC, meanwhile, drew 215,000 viewers to its weekday hourlong show about legal issues. Does this anecdote - that an unpopular cable news show and a wildly popular Web site draw similarly sized audiences - prove that the Internet is upending the economics of the television business? A staff of two produces Rocketboom.com/vlog. "How many people do you think it takes to produce The Abrams Report on MSNBC?" Mr. Campbell asks.
Here's another article about Rocketboom - Right to the Top by Newsweek.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:05 PM | | links to this post

Diet Coke + Mentos

Who would've known that Diet Coke and Mentos could do this? These guys: A) are creative and B) have lots of time. Viral videos like this are awesome.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 11:40 AM | | links to this post

adidas-Puma rivalry

Awesome summary (Feuding Brothers Make Legendary Sneakers) of the feud betwen the two German shoe giants (adidas and Puma). As much as I like their stuff, I have to go American (with the swoosh). Nike still runs game and produces the nastiest gear.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:31 AM | | links to this post

I'm an addict

I have yet to publicly announce the rare condition I have, but for the first time ever I will admit that I suffer from a very serious case of "blog addiction". According to this list on Bloggers Anonymous list, I have experienced 7 of the 10 symptoms of BA including:

10. You check your blog stats a LOT. You occasionally get up in the middle of the night and sneak a peak.

9. Your significant other suspects you are having an affair with your blog. Even when you’re alone with your special person, you do find yourself thinking what your blog might be doing right then…

8. You “mental blog” while driving or on the train, and sometimes even when you are alone in the shower.

7. You filter everything through your post-writing. You can’t watch a movie, see a play, read an article, or share a sweet moment with your child without thinking of whether it’s blog-worthy.

6. You suffer from “blog envy” when another blogger posts something juicy before you do.

5. You “binge blog” 3 or 4 posts at once—only to feel guilty and empty afterward.

3. You think, “I can stop at any time."

Little did I know that much of my blogging anxiety is not necessary because apparently blog frequency does not matter anymore. Now I find out. I'm also addicted to domain names, rss feeds and cool looking websites.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:26 AM | | links to this post

Changin' the world?

Interesting article on the future of social networks.
>> The Network Unbound by Fast Company
>> and check out the "MySpace killer" - TagWorld


posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:10 PM | | links to this post

Evolution of Dance

"As of late May, Judson Laipply's "Evolution of Dance" has now been watched over 15 million times. For those keeping track at home, 15 million eyeballs (err... 30 million eyeballs) is enough to best all but one of last week's sitcoms -- the sole survivor being the "Will and Grace" series finale which drew a Nielsen-estimated 18.4 million viewers.

"Evolution of Dance" has now been watched more times than last week's episode of Lost (14.6 million viewers last week).

Urban Eola double take :: This just shows the power of new media. This dancing guy has become an "e-lebrity" and surpassed the viewership of major old media just from setting up a video camera and doing something funny. Rock on, new media!


posted by Michael Tavani @ 9:36 AM | | links to this post

Family portrait

This is pretty funny.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 8:43 PM | | links to this post

ATL Beltline

This project could majorly change the face of urban Atlanta. Check it out. It's pretty boss. It also shows that graduate students sometimes have un-jaded, innovative, and optimisitic ideas that improve cities, companies, and things.

The Atlanta Beltline is a proposal to transform a 23-mile loop of underutilized rail corridor around downtown Atlanta into an integrated linear open space and transit system. Georgia Tech student Ryan Gravel originally conceived the idea for a transit loop in his master's thesis in 1999. Frustrated with the lack of transportation alternatives in Atlanta, Gravel and two of his colleagues, Mark Arnold and Sarah Edgens, summarized his thesis in 2000 and mailed copies to two dozen influential Atlantans. Using existing rail tracks, it aims to improve not only transportation, but to add green space and promote redevelopment.
>> Beltline Community
>> Beltline Partnership
>> North East Atlanta Beltline


posted by Michael Tavani @ 5:01 PM | | links to this post

What can we do?

Help Solve the Climate Crisis (from “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore)
>> Take action and calculate your impact
>> 10 Simple Tips (opens a pdf file)


posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:02 AM | | links to this post

I want to see this

Check out An Inconvenient Truth, which is a documentary film about global warming starring Al Gore. The documentary premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It opened in New York and Los Angeles on May 24, 2006.

Synopsis (via Wikipedia): Al Gore, coming to grips with his life's direction after the events of the 2000 Presidential election, dedicates himself to combating global warming. Armed with a Keynote presentation, Gore explains the science and politics of global warming.

Urban Eola take: Al Gore is actively involved with some of my favorite things such as advancing technology and the internet, he's on the board at Apple, he is a huge supporter and activist in the environmental movement, and he's into film (as star and writer), TV (founder of Current), and book writer.

>> An Inconvenient Truth - Official site
>> An Inconvenient Truth - movie trailer
>> Apple's take on the movie
>> Resurrection of Al Gore in Wired Magazine - May 2006


posted by Michael Tavani @ 3:13 AM | | links to this post

Another reason to get a Mac

Apple not only has super cool products, now they have come out with a recycling program and environmental program which puts their values right in line with Urban Eola's.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 4:54 PM | | links to this post



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