Dear Amazon,

No idea how this ties into “Cycling”. Unless she’s a personal trainer.

Also, what have I purchased that made you think a “Cycling” category would be a good set of recommendations?

Then again…

Dear Amazon,

Please stop putting things in the “New Releases” recommendation list three months before they’re released. This has been showing up on my lists for weeks, and not only does the Kindle edition not come out until September, the paperback edition doesn’t come out until December.

Dear Thanko,

Never change: the smartphone-powered mister. Because nothing says “out of warranty repair” like connecting a water supply to your charging port.

Safety first!

Fortunately for them, no one ever robs jewelry stores…

Thanko: “what a loser!”

One thing that struck me as I browsed the many goofy products that Thanko sells is the hint of sneering contempt in a lot of their product photography:

For instance, The Lonely Guy Wine Chiller:

And the Fat Slob Food Warmer:

Compare and contrast to The Dorkiest Umbrella Ever, where the guy can’t help but look ridiculous but is out doing something, and the girl actually looks kinda cute in it:

Now, it’s possible I’m reading too much into it. The “fat slob” model shows up in a lot of product photos and videos, and seems to be comfortable with how he’s used, but marketing pictures tell a story, and these stories show how the company views the customer. Add a girl to the wine-chiller photo, and Our Hero would be having a successful date; add some more guys to the food-warmer pic and put a nice spread of finger foods on it, and Our Hero would be hosting a Superbowl party.

Dear Waze,

One of these things is not like the others…

At least this one is obviously wrong, unlike the time I asked it to take me to the Embassy Suites SFO, and eventually discovered that there are two of them, about ten minutes apart…

The plural of anecdote is ‘bullshit’

I’m a big fan of Trello, but the only reason to visit their blog is to check for new features. Unfortunately, they feel the need to pad it out with the sort of content-free content that makes workplace violence seem like a reasonable response.

Take this, for instance: “Here’s Proof That Office Layout Doesn’t Affect Productivity”.

Using the DeskTime time-tracking and productivity app, I examined people working in three different environments: an open office, a closed-space office, and a cubicle. It turns out that working in a closed office leads to just 4% more productivity than working in an open office (89.3% vs. 85.8%).

But here’s the kicker: the most productive setup (91.1%) of the trio was the bane of every modern worker’s existence—the dreaded cubicle.

This absolutely reeks. No sample size, no description of what type of work the “tracked” employees did, what industries they were in or even what countries, and no hint of how long this intern “studied” them, but she’s got proof that will put your foolish opinions in their place.

And her solutions? Forget office layout, and focus on art, plants, headphones, and blocking social media.

(and yes, I know her bio calls her “senior writer and content marketer”, but I used to work with a guy whose business cards said “Lord High Everything Else”, so I’m sticking with “intern”)

Dear Amazon,

Why is this children’s toy wearing a bondage gag?

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”