Enough with the Bing Commercials Already!

I have a big problem with these new Microsoft Bing TV ads. They are inaccurate for any sane person who happens to be searching the web. In case you haven’t seen them, or just need a refresher, the three I’m talking about are here, here, and here.

Now that you’ve seen them, a few results I found from searching to see if their wild tangents are true (I used Google for all of these searches):

  • Searching “breakfast” resulted in NO mentions of the Breakfast Club through 10 pages.
  • Searching “back pain” resulted in NO pages about “back packing,” “back to school,” or Bach through 10 pages (If you’re getting results about Bach from back pain, you’re doing something seriously wrong.).
  • You CANNOT get results for “bird of paradise” from “two tickets to paradise” through, you guessed it, 10 pages (Are you seeing a trend here? My feeling is that if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the first 10 pages, you’re not searching well enough).
  • NO mention of “cell wall” from searching “cell phone.”
  • Searching “tickets to hawaii” will get NO results for “hawaii five-o” through 10.
  • I could go on, but I don’t think I need to.

    If you’re wanting to compare LCD and Plasma TVs, you don’t just search for “plasma.” Are people really this dumb?! Do people expect to get reasonable results from vague searches?

    I have to be honest when I say I don’t know how fully well Bing works because I’ve only dabbled in a couple searches. I’m sure that it is a very capable search engine. And it never hurts to have an alternative, if for nothing else than the chance at different results.

    Bottom Line: Don’t try to tell the world that Bing is the perfect search engine when others give perfectly relevant results if you actually know what you’re looking for.

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    Technology’s Place in our Lives

    Our beloved electronics, where would we be without them? I’ll be the first to tell you that I would go crazy if I didn’t have all of my gadgets around me at all times. That doesn’t mean that I cannot go without them for periods of time. This had been known to happen, but if I had to live the rest of my life without my phone, computer, tv, or various other electronics, I don’t know what I would do.

    I recall the big ice storm a couple years ago here in Springfield, MO. I was one of the lucky ones that did not lose power at all, but I went ten days without television or internet access. I watched about a third of my movies, read, listened to music, and even worked on this really cool Puzz 3D Millenium Falcon puzzle. Even so, I was bored out of my mind for most of that time. Has technology really destroyed our ability to entertain ourselves?

    Now, I can’t badmouth technology too much, considering I am basing my entire college career in the field of computer science. I don’t want to give up my gadgets, but I do think that they can negatively impact our lives at times.


    My first example has to do with cell phones. Most people, including myself, take their cell phones with them everywhere. That doesn’t mean it should or has to be answered in all situations. All too often people don’t know proper etiquette of where and when to answer the phone, disturbing everyone around them (e.g., store check-out lines and and movie theatres).

    On a side note with phones, if any of you have experienced phantom rings, you know how annoying they can be. For those who don’t know what a phantom ring is, it is when you think you hear your phone ring or hear/feel your phone vibrate when it actually doesn’t. It hasn’t happened much to me since I switched to the T-mobile G1, but when I had my Blackberry, it would happen at least once a day. It became very distracting.


    My second example deals with print media. We all know that online news has been taking the front seat to the newspaper and I have to say that this makes me sad. I know that it is inevitable, but I am not looking forward to the day that the only way I can get my news is from the internet. I like newspapers for one main reason: format. I like being able to look at full articles all at once. The stories are easy to find and you know you are getting that day’s news. When looking online, the date of the stories are almost never labelled on the front page and you can’t get a snippet of the story without clicking to read the full story. When I read the newspaper, I first scan the headlines to see if the story is one I want to read and even if I don’t want to read the whole story, I usually like to scan the first couple paragraphs to get the main points. So, for intsant, breaking or non-traditional(i.e., from blogs)  news, the internet is a modern wonder. But I would much rather read a newspaper everyday.

    And what happens when you lose your internet connection when that’s the only source? No news. Period.

    Along the same line, Amazon’s Kindle is an amazing piece of technology, but I don’t want to use it as my primary source for reading. I like the feel of a book in my hands. On top of that, I spend so much time in front a computer screen, I don’t think it would be healthy for my eyes to look at another screen for an extended period of time.


    We can’t deny that technology and electronics have become cornerstones in our lives that are not going away, but we can’t solely rely on them. Think of the episode of South Park from this season where the entire world goes insane because the internet is down. We must have other ways in which we can entertain ourselves so that we do not become dependent. Those are just a couple examples, but nevertheless, if someone tries to take away all of my gadgets, I’ll have to quote Charlton Heston when I say, “from my cold, dead hands.”

    Star Wars v. Star Trek

    This is the pinnacle of all nerd debates; which science fiction franchise is better? This goes into personal favourites and also discussions on who would win in a head-to-head battle.

    CAUTION: This could get nerdy from time to time from here on out.

    This debate is nothing new, but seeing as the new Star Trek film is coming out in a little more than a week, I figure it’s a good time to let everyone know where I stand on the matter.

    Star Wars has my vote hands down.

    That’s not to say I don’t like Star Trek. I love The Next Generation, enjoy most of the Original Series episodes I’ve seen, and like most of the movies. I also can’t wait to see the new Star Trek movie when it comes out on the 8th. From everything I’ve heard and from the trailers, this movie is going to be awesome.

    But still, I just like Star Wars better.

    STAR TREK
    The technology in Star Trek is like nothing ever seen before it. Who wouldn’t want to be able to transport themselves or and object instantly across huge distances? Who wouldn’t want to be able to replicate anything they want? And then there’s the holodeck. If this could be built in our time, it would be the pièce de résistance of all known entertainment.

    On the other hand, Star Trek has the disadvantage of weak ships. How cool is it when your shields are down to 60% after one phaser blast? It’s almost embarrasing when you have this advanced society that can make just about anything, but can’t adequately protect themselves.

    STAR WARS
    Star Trek may have the fancy, albeit cool, technology, Star Wars has the best weapons and firepower. Death Star, blaster, lightsaber, bowcaster — Star Wars has everything you could ever want to destroy anything.

    I think the well-defined plot is what sets ‘Wars aside from ‘Trek for the most part. ‘Wars has the advantage of all the episodes being feature length, but are also tied together. With the majority of ‘Trek’s content being from the various series, there is only so much you can do with an hour when the episodes aren’t tied together by plot. The exception to that, however, are the ‘Trek movies.

    HEAD-TO-HEAD
    I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks the Enterprise could take on and survive an attack from a Star Destroyer is crazy. All of the specifications around point to the Star Destroyer being about one kilometer longer than Enterprise (which is only about or a little more than 600m in the first place). Size advantage pretty much seals it for me, but the Star Destroyer also has a large complement of fighters. In my opinion, those fighters are going to be too small and fast for the Enterprise to be able to consistantly and accurately hit them.



    These are just a few of the things that set these two storied sci-fi franchises apart. Like I said before, most of the allegiances betweent the two are based soley on opinion. Mine still stands by Star Wars.

    You’ve heard how I feel, which side do you sway towards (if any)?