MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen is my guilty pleasure

MTV made it’s Canadian debut within the last three months or so. I don’t think that I’m the demographic they’re aiming for, but I simply love to hate a reality show called My Super Sweet Sixteen. I watch with my mouth agog. I see it as symbolizing all the bad that’s wrong with North America in general and rich, white American sixteen-year-olds specifically. I suggest you spend your next Wednesday night at 10:00 watching it and screaming at the television.

Seems like I’m not alone.

Newest Find: for Long-Distance Calling

So, VoIP seems to be the newest way to save a buck or two and screw over Bell (or Rogers in my case) at the same time. There are a couple of routes to go if you’re interested in calling over the Internet. For the moment, I’ve decided that I’m not ready to throw in the landline towel become a Vonage customer (Ted Rogers is breathing a sigh of relief, I’m sure).

I have, however, been turning the screws slightly on Ted’s stranglehold of my telecommunication options. I found a website where I can get the benefits of cheap long distance without getting rid of my phone. You see, if you’re interested in VoIP and not interested in Vonage, there’s the computer alternative of Skype or the like. The problem with that is you need to be attached to your computer with a headset. IMHO, there’s nothing more geeky than speaking to someone using a boom mic. Can’t really place it, but I have to imagine there’s some genetic reason for it.

OK, so back to this website. Entering your home number, the number you want to call and clicking OK causes your phone to ring. You pick it up, and a nice silicon sally announces you’re being connected. Quality of the connection is great–on the whole better than Vonage and Skype (and other software solutions I’ve tried). Rates seem to be good too. A call to an Ontario number is 0.0140 euros a min. That works out to ~ 2 Canadian cents. I’ve used it for over an hour of calls and owe about 1 euro, or $1.40 CAD. Additionally, you don’t pay prior to using the service: you get a bill based on use. Haven’t experienced how easy it is to pay, so can’t really comment. But would a company make it hard to pay them? Naaah…

Solution for an full in-box? SNARF

Seems like Microsoft has gone and created some pretty interesting software (that, not suprisingly, plugs into a pre-existing piece of MS software) that will rank emails in your in-box not on time of arrival but on SNARF’s perceived importance (i.e. someone who is in your address book, someone you’ve replied to often). I don’t suffer in-box drowning, but know many people who do (my supervisor, for example).  Might be a solution.  Only problem?  Hafta use MS outlook.

Link: SNARF from Microsoft Research