High rollers for the High Holy Day
Ebay has become a significant outlet for scalpers and ticket pushers of all stripes, be it for fourth row floors for a Van Halen reunion show, or the 50-yard line for the Superbowl game. What I never really expected to see was a cash bonanza attached to a front-row seat at temple. An enterprising synagogue in Miami Beach, Fla., is selling off a pair of lifetime seats right in front of the presiding rabbi for a cool US$1.8 million.

“I don’t want to use the word ‘gimmick,’” says Temple president Jerry Jacobs in the article in question. “But it’s a way for us to get the community involved in what we’re doing. Here you can have the two best seats in the house, and they’ll be in your family forever.”

As such, the seats are transferable between generations and can be willed to family members should their original owners pass on to that eternal Temple in the sky.

I guess it beats passing around a collection plate. It should be noted, however, that there have been no bids so far.

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Vista, schmista
Vista, schmista indeed. This ComputerWorld article offers instructions on how to keep your copy of the XP operating system humming along for the foreseeable future.

“But what if you suffer from Vista envy, and you’re interested in more than just maintaining XP as it is?” says the article, as if to challenge your software prowess. “No problem – we’ll also show you how to get many of Vista’s goodies, such as greatly improved security, transparent windows, Windows Flip 3D and the Network Map, all without having to spend the money to upgrade or get new hardware.”

So tell me again, why do people have such a colossal hate-on for Vista? Does it suck that much? Seriously, please let me know. I’m still part of the XP crowd (with no immediate plans to upgrade), so haven’t really had the chance to experience Vista first hand. If you can convince me that I should ignore all the anti-Vista hype and get on board, I’m willing to give it a shot.

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Talk is cheap, friends are cheaper
This just in from the duh department: online friendships are ephemeral and meaningless. In a recent study concerning Facebook, MySpace and other social sites, researchers concluded that people with a lot of virtual friends aren’t more likely to have more real-life friends than those without online affiliations. I say, “duh,” because it seems self-evident that online communities shouldn’t be taken all that seriously, but there’s more to this research than that. It may be that people aren’t even capable of having more than a few really close friends because our brains just aren’t hard-wired to handle it. Forming relationships takes face-to-face communication and translating visual cues and face expressions into useful information takes a bit of brainpower. Does this mean smart people are capable of forming more or better relationships? I dunno. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

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