July 16th, 2012

Replicants (BGC)

First World Problems

Okay, i am now reeeeealy curious about how exactly shipping is handled at Google.

As previously mentioned, in theory the Nexus 7 started shipping on friday, however i did not get notified that mine was on the way until 2am on saturday, and UPS apparently did nothing with it all weekend because the tracking data wasn't updated at all.

Finally this morning there was tracking data available. To wit:

United States 07/11/2012 6:20 A.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS
Louisville, KY, United States 07/16/2012 9:53 A.M. Origin Scan

Er wait what? According to _somebody_ it was ready for UPS to pick up at 6 am on _wednesday_? I paid $14 for two day shipping. (I'm not sure if it makes it better or worse that i was not given an option about what kind of shipping was used.) If i paid for two day shipping and it was ready very early wednesday morning, why didn't i have it on friday? What was going on in _five_ days between when it was theoretically ready to go and when it apparently actually started moving? Obviously two of those days were the weekend (does UPS normally do anything on saturday? I can't remember) but that still leaves three days entirely unaccounted for.

The three most likely explanations seem to be 1: that Google started scanning shipping codes before the devices were actually ready to ship (though in that case why wasn't the tracking code actually working until five days later?) 2: there was such a large shipment that it took several days for UPS to process them all, or 3: someone somewhere was just sitting on their ass for awhile.

Whichever it is, it's not really improving my impressions of how Google has managed this launch. Though i will of course be somewhat consoled when i actually get my hands on my Nexus 7, in theory sometime tomorrow.
Caffeine: Dune

Marketing at its "best"

So in an effort to consume less cans of diet A&W at work (because A&W is moderately expensive, and more importantly heavy and awkward to cart into the office) i've been trying to drink more water instead. But i can't drink plain water very easily (i don't know why) so i normally add some kind of sweetener to it.

Lately i've been using various kinds of stevia extract (Purevia, Truvia, generic Trader Joe's-via) but when i went to the store over the weekend i decided to pick up some more packets of instant iced tea mix. Unfortunately when i got there i found that they no longer seemed to have my favorite brand. Instead they've replaced about two shelves of drink mixes with the new "Mio" stuff.

I'd mostly been avoiding the stuff because their commercials are rather meh. (Not super offensively dumb as best as i can remember, just meh and somewhat annoying when repeated incessantly.) However since they didn't have the stuff i actually wanted i ended up grabbing two bottles of it, one regular and one "energy."

So clearly bribing(?) stores to ditch competing brands and stock mainly your product is a much better marketing tactic than commercials, though possible a more expensive one, i dunno.

But anyways, this stuff does seem to be fairly convenient. Squeezing some concentrated liquid into a bottle of water is easier than tearing open packets of stuff, and it does mix a lot easier than the iced tea powder did.

However i was looking at the nutritional info for the "energy" version and it got me thinking. It contains 60 mg of caffeine per serving. There are 18 servings per small 1.62 oz bottle, for a total of 1080 mg of caffeine. A 8 oz cup of drip coffee has about 145 mg of caffeine. So 1.62 oz of this stuff is equivalent to about 7.5 cups of coffee. Of course i think my cups of coffee are a little bigger than 8 oz, but it's still at least 4-5 cups of coffee.

Doing a little more math (or just cheating and using the "Death by Caffeine" website =) 11 or 12 bottles would be enough to kill me. (Or more technically, get me to the ld50.) That means 20 oz total, or little enough to fit in a moderately large water bottle. Now admittedly the stuff _is_ pretty concentrated so you'd have a tough time chugging 20 oz of it, but still, it's got to be one of the more lethal things commonly available in a grocery store. (Obvious caveats: Out of stuff that's meant to be eaten/drunk and not some cleaning product or such, and which isn't obtained from the pharmacy aisle.)

But in any case, i'm wondering if i should look around for some off-brand alternatives. I feel kind of bad buying something for which i've seen so many commercials =P