Showing posts with label April Fool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label April Fool. Show all posts

Friday, April 01, 2011

Give me a latté and some paper. Ding.


See, like I always say, if you hang on to something long enough, you'll eventually become cool again. Now all I have to do is find a 1950s-vintage Underwood manual.

FROM THE Omaha Bee-News:
This is one coffeehouse where you won't find free wi-fi.

You won't find expensive wi-fi, either. Or dial-up at any price.

As a matter of fact, you'll be asked to check your laptop at the counter. And your cell phone or tablet computer, too.

You see, RetroGrounds in Omaha's Old Market district is a no-tech zone.
It's all an outgrowth of the slow-food and slow-tech movements, says owner and chief barista Ole Lud-Dytes.

"If you want a good cup of coffee, it something you just can't rush. It's the same thing with a good meal, and it's the same with communicating with one another," he says. "You just have to take your time."

To walk into RetroGrounds is to step out of time -- and into history. There is a 1936 Zenith radio sitting on a corner counter, tuned to a local "standards" station. AM, of course. And if you have to stay in touch with the world while you enjoy a latté or brèvé, manual typewriters -- circa anywhere from the 1930s to the 1960s -- sit on tables around the establishment.

Chasity Lemuels sits at one of those tables, hunting and pecking at a 1962 Royal. It's the first time the 20-year-old has used a typewriter, and only one of a handful of times she's even laid eyes on one.

"It's so . . . tactile," she muses. "It's fun -- very different from using my laptop. I feel like I'm writing with authority, but my fingers hurt.

"I think I know why my grandparents have arthritis," she says, giggling.

RetroGrounds opened about a year ago, and Lud-Dytes says business has been growing steadily.

"I started this with no more than a gut feeling that people just might want to step off the modern treadmill," he says as he foams yet another latté for a customer who has checked his iPad and stepped out of cyberspace and into. . . ?

"Peace. Contemplation. The world where the physical and the realm of communication have once again become one," Lud-Dytes says.

"That's the yearning I just felt people had in this hyperconnected, overly technological world. So far, business is good and tells me I just might be on to something here."

The first-class stamp for your first letter is free with your coffee.
COUNT ME IN. I think my coffee intake will be increasing dramatically.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Put this in your search engine and query it

Oh, for cryin' out loud! Have they ever been to Topeka?

I didn't think so.

The Google people changed the name of the search engine this morning to pay tribute to Topeka, being that Topeka is now Google, Kan. What the people in Mountain View, Calif., don't understand, however, is the former Kansas Topeka's stunt wasn't a tribute to the former California Google --
it was straight up identity theft.

The former Kansas Topeka's reputation had been catching up to it for a century and a half or so, so the crappy little city on the sunflower-mottled flatlands decided to cadge a new start on life by passing itself off as the world's premier search engine, etc., and so on.

And now --
in a stunning fit of naivete surpassing what got it into its current Chinese misadventure -- the former California Google has saddled itself with the bad rep of the former Kansas Topeka.

HERE'S WHAT started it all, as reported a month ago on CNN:
At 79, Bill Bunten doesn't exactly understand the Internet boom. The Topeka, Kansas, mayor has an e-mail account, he said, but his assistants take care of most of his online communications and tend to search the Web for him.

But Bunten believes so firmly that younger residents of Kansas' capital city will benefit from faster Internet connections that he wants Topeka -- which he describes as a place of many lakes and the site of a burgeoning market for animal-food research -- to change its name for a month.

In a formal proclamation Monday, Bunten announced his city will be known as "Google" -- Google, Kansas.

"It's just fun. We're having a good time of it," he said of the unofficial name
change, which will last through the end of March. "There's a lot of good things that are going on in our city."

The unusual move comes as several U.S. cities elbow for a spot in Google's new "Fiber for Communities" program. The Web giant is going to install new Internet connections in unannounced locations, giving those communities Internet speeds 100 times faster than those elsewhere, with data transfer rates faster than 1 gigabit per second.

Frankly, I thought that if Google ever renamed itself in honor of a Midwestern town, it certainly would have been after the Nebraska Omaha, a far superior locale than the former Kansas Topeka.
But no. . . .

Not that it matters, of course.

n a press release embargoed until 10 a.m. today, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle will announce that Nebraska's largest city -- indeed, the largest municipality between Chicago and Denver -- is naming itself after the search-engine and Web-services company that already has committed to his metropolis.

Effective at high noon today, April 1, the former Nebraska Omaha will be known as
Yahoo! Neb.

"For a long time, we thought the city had been selling itself short in the branding department with such a staid and, frankly, unintelligible name as 'Omaha,'" Suttle said in the release. "We think
Yahoo! is a lot snappier. To our way of thinking, Yahoo! Neb., announces to the nation that we're the happiest sonofabitchin' place in the whole frickin' Great Plains region!

"You got some vodka on you? Yahoo! Neb., needs some more vodka," Suttle added. "And its mayor could use another Screwdriver, g**dammit."

IN THE press release, the president of the
Yahoo! City Council, Garry Gernandt, agreed with Suttle that Yahoo! is a more upbeat, young-professional-friendly name than Omaha -- a Native American word meaning "streets of many potholes."

"Besides, we just think that naming the city
Yahoo! makes a nice place name bookend for Wahoo just down the highway," he said. "Why the hell should those Saunders Country clodhoppers have all the fun? I mean, holy crap!"