Chances are, you or someone you know suffers from severe Hourglass Syndrome. Can you imagine how much more you could get done if you didn't have to wait so long for your computer to catch up with you? Not so long ago, when I worked as an IT consultant during grad school, I used to walk into offices where people would get to work, turn on their computers, then go get breakfast while their computers booted up because they so hated watching that hourglass spin. The average person spends three full days a year waiting for their computers to catch up. Based on what I've seen, it's probably not uncommon for that to be three weeks a year.
Do you want to have three extra days in 2011? Popgadget is teaming up with Intel this holiday season to give someone a complete state-of-the-art tech makeover!
What kind of gifter are you? I just took this American Express quiz which says I'm a "creative" gifter. I think this is accurate if that means I think about gifts for ages, dog-ear catalogs and magazines, ask questions all year, and then hurriedly try to get the gifts starting on about, oh December 21st, when I have to pay as much for express shipping as I do for the gifts. American Express has developed a "shopping personality program" to help people like me (and like most people, I think) who have shopping personality disorder. American Express would like to help people shop smarter, and better manage their gift budgets. American Express has challenged me to be the best "creative gifter" I can be, and so with 150,000 American Express Gold membership points. I am going to try and get the perfect gifts for my sister, husband, niece, nephew, and son. My challenge, obviously, will be learning to be creative while getting really nice gifts for a lot of people. This is my problem- I tend to overspend for one or two people and end up short-changing others because I haven't thought about my budget. This year will be different.
Over the next few days, I'll be spending time on the Membership Rewards site, as well as on ShopAmex.com to look for my perfect gifts. ShopAmex lets you combine membership points with your American Express card for more shopping choices. I'll be writing more posts about my shopping progress, and updating you on the gifts I find.
And the best part about the Holiday Gift List Challenge?
I just checked out the NASA effort to get the public involved in the project to send its new rover to Mars and have hot news about why you should vote to name the rover.
Eight out of the nine name choices are borrrrrrring, but one is highly vote-worthy: Amelia. They don't explain, but presumably this is in loving memory of the daredevil pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart, who died in a Pacific plane crash some 70 years ago.
Ladies, it's the least we can do. You have until March 29. Vote for Amelia!
Look out for your Popgadget Drop email this week - we're giving away a T-Mobile G-1 with Google phone.
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The new Mars rover is scheduled to land on the Red Planet to look for wee microbial life in 2012. Your name could be aboard.
The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency wants you to try your luck by helping to name the new rover, which is scheduled for launch in 2011. Just vote for your fave among the 9 names NASA has selected from hundreds proposed by kids. I haven't seen the candidate rover names yet, but NASA says it will reveal them starting March 23.
The people names destined for Mars will be recorded on a chip installed on the rover before launch. NASA is collecting names from folks who vote in the rover-naming contest. Here's the link for voting. You have until March 29 to cast your ballot and maybe get your name to Mars.
You have just two more days to enter our Valentine's Day Giveaway of the messaging superphone, the Samsung Propel, in red and white. Again, the rules are simple: just let us know how technology made your Valentine's Day un-romantic, and the saddest tale of woe wins the phone. We've got some good entries, but we're sure some of you are still coming out of the Valentine's Day haze and have yet to submit your story. Just send me an email, and we'll pick a winner on Friday, February 20th.
Valentine's Day is upon us again: so many expectations, so much longing, so much bitter disappointment. But how has technology affected the big day? Here are results from an AT&T study conducted late last month, about the upcoming holiday:
· 36% of texters intend to send a text or picture message in celebration of Valentine’s Day
· 61% plan to send a text message to someone with whom they’re currently in a relationship, while another 35% plan to send a text message to a friend of family member
· 41% of people who plan to send a Valentine’s Day text or picture messages plan to send five or more messages
· 48% of texters felt that receiving a Valentine’s Day text message would have the same or more meaning or impact than a card, and more than two thirds of texters
· 68% felt that way about receiving a picture message
48% think a Valentine's Day text would be as good as a card? Maybe as good as a card, but not as good as flowers or candy, surely. I think perhaps, this isn't the best advice- buy the card, guys, buy the card.
In Popgadget tradition, we don't want to hear about the carriage rides to the heart-shaped table filled with flowers, champagne, and diamond rings. We want to know about the pissed off, the sad, the downtrodden. Did you get an utterly un-romantic text from your significant other? Did you get an email invitation for a romantic night on the town from your love, only it wasn't intended for you? Let us know about your tale of woe! Men, of course, you're not exempt. Did you get the dreaded, "sorry but UR not the father" message on the 14th? Well if you did, we want to know!
What will you get for sharing your humiliation? A brand-new Samsung Propel phone, from AT&T Wireless, in splashy red and white, valued at $249. The Propel features a full QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth, 3G data speed, 1.3 MP camera, music player, and the full host of messaging options (email, text, picture mail, IM, even video sharing).
Just leave a comment with your story and we'll pick a winner next Friday. That means you need to leave your comment by noon, February 20th. Or you can email your entry to me and indicate which part of your story you wouldn't mind us publishing here on the site.
Oh one more thing... perhaps you might want to pass on this "Do's and Don'ts of Texting" video by relationship expert Nicole Beland to your valentine before the big day.
We do wish everyone a happy Valentine's Day. Honestly.
Last Year's Pink Centro of Misery Giveaway
I remember the Japanese Pokeman characters from an addictive cartoon show which featured the just-too-cute-for-words yellow Pikachu, but as my daughter became older, he lived primarily on her DS. She should have entered the Pokeman Video Game showdown; she's been playing it long enough.
Over the past two weeks, more than 1,000 Pokemon fans swarmed Los Angeles and New York, for the chance to become the ultimate Pokemon Video Game Champion. From as young as 6 to 43, contestants vied across the nation for their title, with the decision to be made in Florida.
Competing on Pokemon Diamond or Pokemon Pearls Nintendo DS ( who wouldn't want one of those?), the Japanese finalists will take on the American winners August 16th at Orlando's Disney World.
Winners receive: A trip for four to Tokyo, New York, or Oahu (Hawaii); a custom Nintendo DS game system, and a Pokémon prize pack. Valued at $10,000.
My cuddly 5' tall Pikachu doll would have enjoyed the trip.
A message to Popgadget Drop email subscribers: The giveaway drawing for the pink Panasonic Lumix camera closes on May 15, 2008, not May 1, 2008. Thanks, J, for pointing out this error.
To sign up for our emails, go to this page.
Baz Luhrmann, the creative brains behind Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge! is innovating again: in an exclusive deal with Apple, the director has arranged for a series of video podcasts (I'm sorry, I can't bring myself to use the term 'vodcast' - it always sounds like there's something stuck in my throat) from the set of his new film, Australia.
The podcasts will feature Aussie actors Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman talking about making the film and are part of a bigger promotion, which includes the chance for students to win a set visit to Oz to learn all about movie production. Talk about the trip of a lifetime!
If you're interested in watching the v*dcasts and entering the competition, see the Set to Screen series on Apple's site for more details.
Via The Australian.