Sunday, August 12, 2007

And your digital downloads

I love the Internet. Of course there are the obvious reasons: 24/7 information availability, not having to talk to annoying people on the phone to find out basic stuff, and the entertainment value of say, YouTube.

My top 3 favorite uses of the Internet right now:

1. Netflix - a seriously BRILLIANT idea. No late fees, you can add movies to your list when you remember them, so you aren't fumbling around at the video store trying to remember the name of that movie your friend recommended, and you don't even have to leave your house. Well, except to walk to your mailbox to pick up and return the DVDs, which come in their nice pre-addressed, pre-paid envelopes. Beautiful!

2. Amazon's Mechanical Turk. I know I'm about a million years behind, since this launched 2 years ago, but I discovered it when I read a story in Wired magazine about missing computer scientist Jim Gray. It's a place to list labor-intensive tasks that cannot be done by a computer, like evaluating whether two product listings on Amazon are the same, or identifying lampposts in satellite images. People sign up to complete these simple tasks and get paid a few cents for each one. I've made $0.58 in a couple of hours. No, I'm not going to quit my day job, but it's oddly relaxing to do some of these simple tasks. Makes my idle Internet surfing seem somewhat productive.

An example of the brilliance that came out of this system: The Sheep Market. People were asked to draw a sheep facing left for 2 cents each. Thousands of entries were submitted and you can peruse them if you click the link. Woo hoo!

A more useful task on the Turk: volunteers pored over thousands of satellite images trying to find a sign of Jim Gray's boat. They yielded one highly probable image in that data, but they still didn't find him.

3. JeanSolutions. For only $14 and the cost of postage, these folks will hem your jeans, keeping the original hem intact. I assume they do some sort of origami folding trick.

Because I'm so short, every new pair of jeans I buy needs to be hemmed. Since a longer length is in fashion, I'm just a hair too tall to buy petite jeans but too short for regular length jeans to fall at the right place.

My usual alterations lady is great, but we had trouble getting our schedules to line up, and she doesn't preserve the original hem - she just chops them off and redoes the stitching at the bottom. Since jeans have that extra fat rolled over seam thing on the bottom, the hemmed ones never quite look right.

So tomorrow I'm sending off my new Nordstrom Anniversary Sale jeans to Philadelphia to be hemmed. I'll post later on how they turn out.

So, why do you love the Internet? Post me some good stuff in the comments, y'all!


  1. Blogs. I love reading blogs.
    YouTube Rocks!
    I love the fact, I can buy stuff with a couple simple clicks. There is a downside to this buying stuff online thing,but I'm ignoring it.

    Not to mention being able to make reservations for restaurants online and seeing what the menu might be for restaurants. I love that.

  2. Okay, so I came across this site today after seeing an advertisement on eBay. It's called, and apparently it's like netflix, for handbags. I dunno...maybe it'll work. The rental costs per week can be quite high ($95 or more), but I think those are for couture bags that run in the multiple $Ks to own. Check it out and let me know what you think :) Did you get your jeans back yet?

  3. Top 3 Reasons I LOVE the Internet...

    1. I love being able to learn about other parts of the world; currently researching/planning a trip to Puerto Rico. (Thanks for posting to my blog by the way.)

    2. The vast availability of free craft project ideas to help inspire me.

    3. Passes time when there's nothing good to watch on TV.

    So where did you end up staying in PR? We're trying to decide if we want to stay on a couple of different sides of the island or mainly in San Juan. We'd love to hear your take of it.

    My husband and I are both vegetarians and think that we would have more luck finding food in SJ more so than others parts of the island.

    Any tips for our trip in March? Things to be aware of? Is the food really expensive??? I'm just really hoping I can stay focused until March! :)

    Thanks for posting, your blog made me laugh. Deodorant?! Eeewwww!


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