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Lexus Automobiles Marketed to Assholes

So it looks like this season's batch of Lexus television commercials continue on in the fine tradition of years past starring yuppies seeking last minute tax write-offs by purchasing new luxury cars and SUVs, adorning them with red bows and giving them as gifts.

These commercials go no short distance to make Lexus and it's customers look like a bunch of pretentious assholes flaunting their wealth for all to see.

Though I don't have a recorded copy of the commercial I have in mind, there was one scene that was simply precious; some guy is presenting his (presumed) wife a lexus in their driveway and she's all teared up and hugs him. The camera pans across the street and there is a crowd of people cheering.

A close study of the freeze-frame may prove me wrong, but at a glance these people sure looked like their clothes were more ragged than the "stars" of the commercial. I'd almost go so far as to say they looked like a bunch of homeless people acting like it was ok for them to be on the street, so long as this couple was happy.

Another commercial pits a black woman against a white one as they try to figure out who the mysterious "gift car" parked between their two property lines is intended for. You can see the anxiety in their faces and the commercial ends with neither one willing to go back inside until they have their answer. This automobile is in no subtle way, attached to their societal rank in their neighborhood, which is very disappointing to watch. Watching two shallow and petty people lusting after an object does not make casual observers feel the same.

These commercials may actually represent the image that Lexus wants to cultivate and celebrate but it's nothing I would get within a ten mile radius of, no matter what my wealth or the quality of Lexus products.

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on November 29, 2006 | Comments (0)

The INTERnet is INTERactive

If you're on the internet you might as well participate on it. Since we @ Haus help to build the internet we are constantly writing letters to other developers, but it doesn't stop there; everyone but the largest companies who loathe their customers can benefit from hearing from you.

Bloggers would love you to use their comments section to further discussion. Site owners love private emails of encouragement for providing good information or services (usually for free). Publications should be told if their advertising has gone too far. The public benefits if you share your experiences with a product on sites like Amazon. The internet is for all of us to build and for all of us to benefit from, and that is what makes it so great.

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on November 14, 2006 | Comments (0)

"Scratch Disk"

Even though we at Haus use an online job tracking systems to keep a handle on everything we're working on, there is always a ton of little details, notes, questions, numbers, etc. that are either too small/temporary to put into bugzilla, or are too numerous to keep track of in your brain. For these items (and my coffee cup) there is the "scratch disk", pictured here.

I generally fill up one page every 1-3 days, flip over and repeat, then shred using a cross shredder. Could be that growing up at the exact time that I did has turned my peers and I into digital hybrids: embracing new technology but mixing it with analog components.

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on November 7, 2006 | Comments (0)

Shure i3cT Attacked By Dung Beetle!

dung-beetle.psdI live in NYC where there is all kinds of noise both above and below ground. Recently I've been researching solutions and found some glowing (sound quality) reviews of the Shure i3c Integrated Sound Isolating Earphones + Mobile Headset. Sound isolating earphones are a great idea to maintain hearing by using them for low-volume music listening or simply as earplugs (the sound filtering of 30-37db is about the same on these as your standard drug store earplugs). I was on the brink of purchasing a set but stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this INSANELY large/wacky/clowny/goofy control switch inline on the cords.

Since this is a headset for a portable phone and not a home theater I have two suggestions for Shure that I have submitted via email and also publicly here:

Shure-control-switch.gifNew dual-function switch that is smaller and much thinner. Lightweight design enables you to place it anywhere you like on the cord. Like places where it won't be in your pocket where it is of no use.

Another idea, and an even better one, would be to add a small button and control dial to the microphone, making it even more portable yet.

Unless there are some super secret electronic chips that are living in that dung-beetle of a controller that simply can't be shrunk in size these kids have GOT to wake up and realize that people who buy headsets for cellphones do so because they actually take them out of the house and have to carry them. Every single iota of space/weight savings that can be provided without compromising audio quality will be appreciated by consumers. Nobody wants to pay the price of a cellphone to get a headset the size of a cellphone and have to carry an extra bag to tote it around.

Update: I was really surprised to get feedback from Shure not just via email -- by phone! I talked to Brian today and they seem to understand the concerns about portability. We can hope to see improvements in newer models. As it turns out, this growth does not actually have any crazy circuitry built in so we could surgically remove it and be no worse for wear. All it contains: resistor for volume control and a chip or two for the "mute" button. After a short chat, and thinking more about how I would actually *use* this earbud system, here is my updated list of "to dos" for Shure:

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on November 2, 2006 | Comments (0)