New fichey feeds

I added 3 new feeds to fichey

They are:

  • New York Times Top E-mailed articles – a pretty nice roundup of interesting articles on the times
  • Random pages – randomly selects pages from everything fichey has captured
  • Random pages (just today) – limits the randomness to just today

More soon!

The Most Expensive Drink at Starbucks

I recently received a coupon to get any drink I wanted at Starbucks. They do this if something goes awry with a previous experience as a nice gesture.

I decided to use the coupon for an experiment: What is the most expensive drink I can order?

Luckily (or unluckily), I happen to live in Manhattan and that makes Starbucks prices expensive. Yup, they fluctuate from region to region (and even store to store). The first thing I did was call a dozen Starbucks stores around Manhattan to see who had the most expensive prices. I used my regular order of a tall soy chai to make the comparison. I figured a Starbucks in Times Square would be more expensive than where I live on the Upper East. It’s even a cool idea itself to create a Starbucks heatmap of Manhattan.

Boringly, most Starbucks in Manhattan (no matter where located) rang my drink up at $4.23.

My next problem was I needed to find out the most expensive stuff to put in a drink. I called up my sister Lauren who happens to work at a Starbucks. She told me that I definately need to go with the venti white mocha and to add as many shots as possible.

I then went to Starbucks to make my drink. I told the barista that I was there as part of a contest to make the most expensive drink. She played along, trying to squeeze as much as we could into a venti cup. She thoroughly enjoyed the problem at hand (although other customers on line were getting peeved).

And the ultimate yuppified result: A 13 shot venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra white mocha and caramel. It cost a total of $13.76 (with tax).

After she rang up the amount, I then presented her the coupon (which I didn’t reveal beforehand). She laughed, comped the entire drink, and I left.

At first taste, it tasted just like a shot. The 13 shots in it were just too strong. However, when I got home, I mixed it more with a spoon and it became drinkable (even enjoyable to my girlfriend). It was very sweet and I’m still shaking a bit. I didn’t attempt to drink the entire thing since I’d like to sleep tonight.
Here is a shot of the receipt (note: 2 shots come with the drink, so she only rang up 11):

And me wincing at first sip.

Think you can make a more expensive Starbucks drink? I challenge you to do it and post your shot of the receipt here. Bonus points if you do it with a comped drink coupon too. (note: you can inline images or link them)
UPDATE: We put it in the freezer and it’s delicious frozen!

StumbleUpon Should Label Paid Content


Major companies that make their living off of ad revenue respect the distinction between content and paid content. The New York Times has a tiny “advertisement” on the top as well as refuses to print text in the exact font as the articles. Sites like Fark label links “Sponsored Link” and even smaller sites like I-Am-Bored correctly label an ad “AD”.

The problem with stumbleUpon is they rely on the deception as part of their business model. Located on their ad page, they have, “See how many people rated your content thumbs-up or thumbs-down.” This obviously would get slanted if people knew they were looking at paid content.

Digg fights hard to keep purchased links from hitting their list. Imagine if they actually implemented an ad model that interweaves paid links with content, without stating which are ads. The community would revolt and digg would be forced to, at a minimum, label the advertised links.

Returning to the New York Times, what if they didn’t implement a distinction and people read an advertisement thinking it was potentially real journalism? If you think that could create problems, then realize it’s actually happening on stumbleUpon. StumbleUpon has been getting much more popular and as a result, more advertisers want to use it as a platform (and more ads will unknowingly appear on stumble). Advertisers are deceptive, and stumbleUpon has delivered a perfect platform for them to deceive you.

How New Yorkers Walk

Type A New Yorker: If a red light stops you, zigzag with green lights. If either direction to destination is blocked, wait impatiently at corner, checking blackberry.


Type B New Yorker:
Go straight, turn left. Enjoy the melody of the city.



Tourist: Excuse me? Do you know which way to first avenue?


(All maps are clickable to google)

My iPhone Likes to Call People

george and jerry

It’s like an episode from Seinfeld. Jerry gets a new phone as a gift and puts a woman on hold when George calls. He talks to George and eventually switches back to the other line, only to find she hung up. Concerned, he switches back to George who informs Jerry that he heard the entire conversation while on the hold line.

Today my iPhone called my girlfriend while I was talking to someone else. She ended up having a 10 minute voicemail of my conversation (which luckily wasn’t about her). This rarely seems to happen, but there is a bug somewhere in the phone.

I personally think the bug is somewhere in the call switching. It rarely happens, but didn’t end with my girlfriend hearing a random conversation today. Also today, my iPhone called someone else right after I hung it up. I was about to put the phone back into my pocket when I hear, “Hello? Hello?”. I then had to apologize for the phone’s inappropriate behavior.

I also know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this, because I too was prank called by my friend’s phone a couple weeks ago. I heard a muffled conversation that I assume was from his pocket.

fichey is out

Check out, my newest project.

Fichey saves pages from some of the top websites and shows them to you in a static “microfiche”-like format.

Therefore, your computer doesn’t spend time rendering a page, requesting lots of separate images, running javascript, etc etc. You just get to see the content and move on (since most of the pages we see, we’re not interested in.).

Then, when you see that magical page that you want to interact with, you can just double-click into the page from fichey and it’s just like a normal page at that point.

Anyway, check it out, play with it, and of course, bugs/suggestions are always welcome

Added the comment bar

There was an annoying usability issue with downfly when you wanted to add a comment to a link you liked.

After viewing the link, you’d then have to go to downfly, find the link, and add a comment to it.

As a nice solution to this (and to keep with the theme of keeping workflow), when you now view a link, there is a DOWNFLY bar up top that allows you to add a comment without having to leave the page. It also shows you the comments already left by anyone else.