The Mind of Jay

prepare for a brain dump

Hi, my name is Jay.


I'm an obsessive artist and technology buff who's owned and run two companies, had multiple jobs in 5 industries, started a huge online community, helped thousands of men worldwide, and continue to innovate. I like working on new ideas, befriending interesting people, and making the word “impossible” lose meaning. On my downtime I like watching science and news channels, biting comedies, sci-fi, and being up-to-date with what's happening in the world. I lived most of my life on the east coast and I recently moved myself and my business to Los Angeles.

The Microwave Mystery

If microwave ovens are based on radio frequencies, which affects H2O (water) at the atomic level, why does it take longer to microwave more stuff?  If I heat a mug of water to make tea, it usually takes about 70 seconds in my microwave to get it hot enough.  But if I put 2 mugs in, it takes nearly twice as long (2 minutes or more).

It’s not like the extra mug/water is absorbing the “waves” which essentially pass through them. That would be akin to saying someone would have to talk louder (or longer) in order to be heard every time another person walked into the room.

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  • Filed under: Observations
  • Facebook doesn’t like my money

    I tried buying some ad placements on Facebook, but it keeps rejecting my attempt to make a purchase, claiming that the address I’m entering is wrong.  I called my bank and they verified that they do see multiple authorization attempts for $1.01, all of which were approved by the bank but not cleared by Facebook.  So clearly my CC bank is approving the authorizations, but Facebook’s system is too stupid to handle it.

    I tried to find a phone number to contact Facebook, there is none to be found on their site, so I used their customer support form page, which of course will likely never get responded to.  I looked up their domain records and found a number there, but when I called it was an automated voicemail “we’ll get back to you” system, so they’re highly unlikely to get back to me on that, although I did leave my contact info.  My bank said they can’t find a phone number associated with the authorization attempts until (unless) the transactions go through.

    I could try using my personal credit card instead of my business credit card, but I hate filling out expense reports.  Yes, even when you run your own company you’ve got to generate expense reports for yourself to keep the books straight.

    Apparently, I’m not alone in this experience.  I found some other related write-ups:

    UPDATE: After reading some stories about people having their ads and credit cards banned, and even their accounts cancelled based on ad purchases, I figued it would be best if I created a second Facebook profile solely for ad placements.  Well, guess what?  Facebook won’t even let me create such an account because I keep getting the error “Please enter a valid email address.” even though I am entering a valid email address.

    I’m starting to think that Facebook is all smoke & mirrors.  “100 million members” my ass - I would be willing to bet that 80 million are automated accounts and, of the remaining 20 million, less than 25% are actually active enough to count as members.  Don’t get me wrong, Myspace isn’t any better, but is it too much to expect that a company with a claim of such a huge membership level actually be capable enough to ensure the most simplistic features of its service actually work?

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  • Filed under: Rants
  • Originality is (Brain) Dead

    Well, not really dead.

    The patient is still still alive, but it’s on life support.

    When I look around at the web, which appears to be more & more a reflection of overall western society, I see that every “new idea” brought forth is rehashed from someone else’s idea, or a “mashup” or it’s “Web 2.0″ when, in fact, it’s just the same “Web 1.0″ that’s been around since the 90s but now it’s being fully utilized.  It’s just that all the web browsers have finally caught up.

    Every site with any level of membership site wants to be a “social media” site.  If you’re YouTube, you want to do what Facebook does.  If you’re MySpace, you want to immitate Facebook.  If you’re Facebook, you want to be YouTube.  Everybody has to have an interconnected “friend network”.  Seriously, how many “friend networks” do people really need to be on?

    Everytime a friend signs on to yet another wanna-be friend network of any size or kind, we all get notices and alerts in our inbox begging us to join, too.  Just pick a couple big ones and be done with it.  if somethign better comes along, fine, but nothing better is coming along, it’s all just a crap shoot of immitation.

    What I’ve found is that everyone and their distant cousin wants to strike it rich with the next big Web idea yet the first thing everyone does is simply copy another big successful site or model.  That’s just plain stupid.

    2 years ago, there were many 3 or 4 social bookmarking sites total.  Now there are nearly 100.  Guess what?  Only 2 of those “extra” ones offer anything of differentiated value which is incrementally better than the original 3 or 4.  The rest are total crap because they are pale immitations.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a communist.  I’m all for as much variety in life as possible.  But to all those wanna-be immitators: come up with a BETTER IDEA.  If you’re going to be lazy and emulate the good ideas of others, at the very least, DO IT BETTER and DIFFERENTIATE.  Even better, simply come up with a FRESH IDEA.

    “Only mediocrity can be trusted to be always at its best.”

    ~Max Beerbohm

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  • Filed under: Observations
  • How much effort is too much?

    I know that most people, when they blog, are perfectly happy to sign up to a cookie-cutter web site like Blogger.comor Wordpress.com.  I mean, it’s pretty damn easy.  Create an account, name your blog, start blogging.

    I hate doing things cookie-cutter, and if I ever make use of something like that I tend to push it to the max.

    In July I decided to try my hand at cookie-cutter blogging.  I created an account at Wordpress.com, but soon realized the limitations to my creativity.  Still, within 2 days I wrestled the beast into my submission, assigned a domain to it, and pushed what was available to the max.

    Although I wasn’t fully satisfied with all the limits, I figured it would be a good test to get myself familiar with self-blogging and slapped together the content I’d planned to put on there (as typical of me - something controversial).  I updated it daily, added links to others when it made sense, automated some outside feeds, made the content entertaining, and shared the blog link in a few key places on the web of related relevance.

    Within a matter of days the blog shot up to be in the top 100 “blogs of the day” at Wordpress.com and stayed there for 2 weeks, at one point making it to #31, out of the over 3 million cookie-cutter blogs hosted at Wordpress.com.

    I’ve since abandoned updating that blog and it settled down (I think it gets only 100 people/day now), as I didn’t have time to play around like that constantly.  The process showed me what was possible to do even with huge limitations, and inspired me to envision how much more fun it would be if I had full control at my disposal.  I’ve set up stuff for other people, mostly as favors (I’ve long since only done web work for my own business and have little interest in working on other people’s projects), but never set up a blog just for myself.

    Of course, I end up going a bit overboard.  I can’t just download an existing template and use it as-is, no matter how nice it is.  I can’t use only the components that come with it.  I can’t help to re-design and improve the look and features, not just to personalize, but to make it work better.  By my nature, I also can’t let quirks go un-fixed.  It also helps me to learn.  I just don’t know how much effort starts to cross the line into too much; I suppose if I obsess over things so small that only I will notice.

    I don’t care as much how many people read THIS blog, but I really do want it to be one that people would WANT to read, and getting all the customizations done first gets everything out of the way so I can focus purely on writing & sharing.

    In any case, I think I’ve done as much to customize this blog as I need, and should probably get back to my regular work, and then update this blog when I need without that constant nagging “but I want to fix that one little thing…”

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  • Filed under: Random
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